WATER CONTAMINATION - If houses are built on the hill that supplies the last surviving well in Herstmonceux, all of those who presently enjoy a sustainable water supply are likely to be poisoned by pesticides from the gardens of the proposed housing. In addition, where the hard standings of the proposed 70 houses are to be gully drained to a point lower than the twin wells, soakage that supplies the wells will be diverted away potentially starving the wells of water, save that from the garden areas. The amusing cartoon above portrays the situation that perhaps the developers were not aware of, when they bought into a situation that they should have been able to rely on. Unfortunately, the council concerned and the advisers to the original applicants appear to have been less diligent than they might have been in the rush to profit from a windfall situation.



At the time of writing, the planning officers in charge of an application to build 70 houses on a field that supplies water to historic wells in Herstmonceux are Claire Turner and Christopher Bending.


Clarion Group Housing Limited are working with Thakeham Homes Limited and Latimer Developments Limited, following on from the applications of Tim Watson in 2014 and Gleeson Developments Limited in 2015.


This application is/was to build on a green field site that was purchased by Tim Watson as an investment many years ago. Tim Watson, a local estate agent, abandoned his application, presumably because of identity and potential conflicts of interest locally with the Parish and District Councils, because, exactly the same application was filed with a name change in 2015 by Gleeson Developments Limited, presumably a smoke and mirrors device. If the parties may wish to clarify the situation for us, we'd be pleased to publish any corrections, but as it stands it reads as though their council pals managed to push this one through for old times sake - with the help of all the usual suspects.


Around three hundred local residents were opposed to the application, leading Marina Brigginshaw to give a presentation in the village hall at Herstmonceux, but despite this exceptional turnout, the Parish Council ignored those representations and approved the application. We do not know of any specific reason for the wishes of the public being ignored, and this may become the subject of investigation as to interests and declarations at both Parish Council and District Council levels.


It is suspected that members of Wealden passed the application to in some measure gain revenge on the previous occupier of the old electricity Generating Works while at the same time racking up rates and the Community Infrastructure Levy to keep their highly paid officers in the lifestyle that they have become accustomed to. If that proves to be the case, then the grant of permission will have been an abuse of process.


We are though looking for other anomalies, such as the case officers not correctly advising the Members of this Council as to applicable statute, their Local Plan and National Planning Policy, where there appears to be more than one failure to advise - now the subject of investigation. 


For starters, Herstmonceux has only one small school and could not cope with the  additional children, adding to carbon miles to bus the children to other schools on a daily basis.


Access to the site is from a busy road at an inconvenient junction without the necessary visibility splay to cope with speeds of 40 miles per hour and more and braking as trucks and the like enter the village from the east along seriously potholed roads.


Sewage disposal in a potential issue that Wealden were forced to obtain Counsel's Opinion on to be able to proceed at all, though this Opinion is only that, a sort of insurance policy that at least they tried to cover their tracks; another questionable tactic - and an opinion is only an opinion until it is challenged. We would like to see this opinion and details of the payment and authorisation for obtaining it. No opinion was obtained as to groundwater pollution, despite environmental legislation:


The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010


Water Pollution Offences

For England and Wales, the principal water pollution offences are contained in the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010: regulations 38(1) and 12(1). The offences are similar to ones that used to be set out in section 85 of the Water Resources Act 1991.

It is an offence to cause or knowingly permit a water discharge activity unless you are complying with an environmental permit or exemption. Things that count as water discharge activities are listed in Schedule 21. They include:

* discharging poisonous, noxious or polluting matter or solid waste matter into inland freshwater, coastal waters and relevant territorial waters. The legislation does not define poisonous, noxious or polluting. These words are normally given their ordinary meanings.

* discharging trade or sewage effluent into inland freshwater, coastal waters and relevant territorial waters

* cutting or uprooting substantial amounts of vegetation in any inland freshwaters, without taking reasonable steps to remove it.

It is also an offence to cause or knowingly permit a groundwater activity unless you are complying with an environmental permit or exemption. Broadly speaking, groundwater activities cover discharges of pollutants directly into groundwater, or indirectly. An example of an indirect discharge would be where some polluting liquid like paint is poured onto the ground and gets into the groundwater by percolating down through the soil. Details of exactly what counts as a groundwater activity are given in Schedule 22 to the Regulations. This part of the legislation is quite complicated, because it is giving effect to three pieces of European legislation - the Groundwater Directive, the Groundwater Daughter Directive and the Water Framework Directive.

Causing or knowingly permitting

The courts take a broad approach when deciding whether a person (or a company) caused a water discharge or groundwater activity. There is no need to show that a person knew about the activity or intended it. If pollution is due to a chain of events, a person may be regarded as having caused it even if someone else's actions immediately triggered the pollution. Take the example of a river that is polluted because an unknown person turns on the tap of a diesel tank stored by the river bank. Depending on the exact circumstances, the company that owns the tank as part of their operations might be charged with causing the pollution. This strict approach is why this is know as a strict liability offence.

Knowingly permitting includes cases where a person (or company) is aware of a polluting incident but refuses to take steps to stop the pollution.



If a person is tried and convicted in a Magistrates Court, they could be fined any amount and/or sentenced to up to twelve months imprisonment. If they are tried and convicted in a Crown Court they could face an unlimited fine and/or be sentenced to up to five years imprisonment at Her Majesty's pleasure.


That the developers and local authorities had reasonable cause to suspect that the proposed development would be likely to cause groundwater contamination and worked together to bring about that contamination, without any conditions or revision to prevent occupiers, site managers and the like from using:


1. Herbicides
2. Pesticides
3. Paints
4. Oils
5. Any other man made substance associated with housing to include foul water leakages


is likely to add to the quantum of any fine and the time to be served.



F.A.O. Greg Chuter MA MCIfA                                                                         TRACKED POST
The County Archaeologist
Archaeology Section
Environmental Advice Team
County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent
Lewes, BN7 1UE 

                                                                                                                   23 July 2018
Dear Mr Chuter.


BN27 4SX - WD/2015/0090/MAO

Thank you for your letter dated July 18 2018 and for letting us know about Mr Johnson.

We note that you have found that there were old wells recorded in this general location, previously recorded, but none of those surviving.

You might be interested to know that nobody knew about the wells within the Generating complex until 1983, when they were uncovered. They had been blanked off with substantial beams, layered over with earth and flora.

There are in fact two wells side by side. So, twin wells.

In relation to historic finds, previously unrecorded, we would remind you that your Council did not know of the Generating buildings until 1999 and that their originality was confirmed by way of an independent survey that your council commissioned, after Wealden had done their level best to hide the inconvenient facts over many years – and at considerable cost to the taxpayer.

It is not surprising then that Wealden appear not to have mentioned about these wells, or referred the existence of these wells to your department for proper investigation, though one of the wells is visible in Figures 20, 21 and 41 of the Assessment of Heritage Assets by CGMS Consulting, Fiona Williams and Jason Clemons. In this Report they make mention of the Manor of Lime in 1655, while Lime Park was marked on a 1683 map. As you say there was no well associated with this general development, which is curious to say the least. Although CGMS had recorded the existence of at least one of the wells photographically, they make no mention of it in their assessment – to our mind invalidating that document – as a failure to properly take account of what they were looking at. Incredibly, ESCC missed it also.

From our latest researches, it appears that Wealden worked with other agencies to thwart an appearance from the former occupant, who wanted to tell the planning Committee of the importance of these wells at the planning meeting where this application was passed by one vote in 2015; but he was barred from their Hailsham premises. Suggesting that the apparent coincidence of two parties failing to mention the well element, may not be a coincidence at all.


You are telling us that contamination is not an archaeological matter, but depriving the well of ground water and poisoning it at the same time, as will happen if houses are built as per the outline plan, certainly seems to us to be straying into archaeology territory. Hence, it must fall to be considered by the Department of Culture Media and Sport, and/or the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, English Heritage and Historic England.

Perhaps they might be more interested in sustainability and the NPPF than ESCC and WDC?

Would you agree with that, and who might be concerned about contaminating the water supply for several concerns, which have relied on this sustainable water supply for over 35 years? We were under the impression that new build housing had to fit in with the ethos of the Circular Economy and respect historic elements. We fail to see what is sustainable about depriving these users, including ourselves of this reliable, and we should say, their only source of water.

We are also concerned at the ramifications of claims against the purchasers of the proposed houses, the developers and all of those in the consultation chain, for and including Wealden DC – where such claims might have been avoided if Wealden had not sought to steamroller the grant through despite hundreds of local protestors.

If we do not receive any reply in the next fourteen days we must assume that your department and perhaps others executives and members within East Sussex County Council were party to the banning of the former occupant by Wealden District Council (working with other agencies) with the express intention of allowing Kelvin Williams to get away without mentioning the existence of these wells to the Committee, or any other challenge concerning the heritage assets – such that the wells and groundwater contamination do not feature in the Conditions.

We look forward to your reply and thank you in anticipation for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

for Herstmonceux Museum Ltd 








 -  Conditions Index A - Z
1. Permission subject to detailed particulars
2. Appearance & Landscape

3. Application for reserved matters in 3 years

4. No dev. without archaeological programme

5. No dev. until written scheme 4. published

6. Contamination to be reported subsequently

7. Details code of construction TB approved

8. Temporary contractor provisions

 9.  Noise restrictions working hours

10. Details brickwork finishes
11. Joinery details, windows, doors

12. Details hard & soft landscaping

13. Details screening, trees, hedges

14. Planting trees Chapel Row, Museum

15. Landscape management plan

16. Wildlife management details

17. Japanese Knotweed survey

18. Access prior to building works

19. Visibility splays entrance A271

20. Internal site access roads

21. Car parking details

22. Garages no commercial use

23. No felling trees hedgerows

24. Tree protection existing TPO

25. Bins refuse collection & disposal

26. Foul drainage sewerage works

27. Surface water drainage

28. No discharges foul water

29. Flood resilient buildings

30. Surface water drainage

31. Light pollution AONB

32  Renewable energy

33. No permitted dev buildings

34. No permitted gates/fences

36. Limited to included docs







Ian Kay


Ian Kay

Assist. Dist. Plan.


Charles Lant


Charles Lant

Chief Executive


Patrick Scarpa, solicitor Wealden District Council


Victorio Scarpa



Timothy Dowsett


Timothy Dowsett

Dist. Secretary


Christine Nuttall, solcitor, Wealden District Council corruption and monument protection English Heritage 


Christine Nuttall



David Phillips, perjury and corruption Wealden District Council, the Energy Age, Nelson Kruschandl


Dr David Phillips




Daniel Goodwin


Daniel Goodwin

Chief Executive



J Douglas Moss


J Douglas Moss





 Kelvin Williams

Dist. Planning




Trevor Scott




David Whibley, enforcement officer Wealden District Council


David Whibley




Christine Arnold


Christine Arnold










Beverly Boakes


Beverley Boakes

Legal Secretary



Patrick Coffey


 Patrick Coffey




Julian Black planning consultant


Julian Black





Ashley Brown

Dist. Planning




Derek Holness

Former CEO



Abbott Trevor - Alcock Charmain - Ditto - Arnold Chris (Christine) - Barakchizadeh Lesley - Paul Barker - Bending Christopher

Black Julian - Boakes Beverley - Bradshaw Clifford - Brigginshaw Marina - Brown Ashley - Coffey Patrick - Douglas Sheelagh

Dowsett Timothy - Flemming Mike - Forder Ralph - Garrett Martyn - Goodwin Daniel - Henham J - Holness Derek

Hoy Thomas - Johnson Geoff - Kavanagh Geoff - Kay Ian - Kay I. M. - Barbara Kingsford - Lant Charles - Mercer Richard

Mileman Niall - Moon Craig - Moss Douglas, J.Nuttall Christine - Pettigrew Rex - Phillips David - Scarpa Victorio - Scott Trevor

Kevin Stewart - Turner Claire - Wakeford Michael. - Whibley David - White, George - Williams Kelvin - Wilson Kenneth - White Steve






When an officer of the courts omits to include evidence that he or she knows is relevant to a hearing, that is termed misfeasance in public office. Where an officer then tries to cover up his or her misfeasance (as did Ian Kay in the Stream Farm matter), or J Douglas Moss did in the Old Steam House case, that becomes malfeasance. The difference is that misfeasance is a civil wrong, whereas malfeasance is a criminal offence. The leading case precedent on malfeasance is: R. v Bowden 1995 Court of Appeal (98 1 WLR), where police constable Bowden failed in his duty to protect a member of the public.


The only defence that Wealden's officers have in their criminal dealings is that Sussex Police will not investigate any offence committed by their chums at Wealden. The proof of this is the failure of DS Keith Lindsay failed to interview any one of 12 unrelated complainants or the planning or executive officers from Wealden who stand accused.


Where does Claire Turner fit into all of this? At the moment we do not know and we are giving Mrs Turner the benefit of the doubt. In other words we accept that she is innocent of any hand in the approval of the 70 house windfall grant at Herstmonceux, unless and until fresh evidence becomes available to suggest otherwise.



Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AX T: 01323 443322








Wealden District Council  Wealden District Council  Wealden District Council  Wealden District Council











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