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Greenhouse Gas Awards contender, Wealden District Council


REPEAT OFFENDERS - It's no wonder that Extinction Rebellion is gathering such momentum with councils all over England carrying on as if there was no crisis. The carbon footprint for Herstmonceux village has rocketed because of all the failings of the members of Wealden to tackle climate change and set a good example. Wealden's councillors have granted planning permission for hundreds of houses without solar panels or electric vehicle charging points. If this example by every town and village in the United Kingdom, then our country would be one of the worst polluters in the world on a per square kilometer basis. The councillors you voted for are partly responsible for killing hundreds of species. It makes us want to glue ourselves to something. Peacefully mind you. This village is a contender for the Greenhouse Gas award 2020.



Kirstie Leighton is a solicitor employed by Wealden District Council. She is also the Deputy Monitoring Officer. She recently wrote to a couple her council made homeless, threatening High Court action in connection with the demolition of a building that if it cannot be lived in, would otherwise provide facilities for Health & Safety Regulations compliance.


The building would be a permitted development in any event, as per the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, Class J.


The building cost just £25,000 to put up. It was affordable and sustainable as per the National Planning Policy Framework. It reduced the travel to work every day with just one shopping trip at the weekends, so saving 4 trips from elsewhere to work, as was then the position. Hence, Wealden have increased the carbon footprint for their geographical region despite them seeking CIL and SAC mitigation payments in perversity. Where are all these taxes going. Is it to offset their illogicality, pensions or other agendas?


This council has been asked to explain what they would be using this SAC payment for, and would their plans be more effective than if the couple installed (for example) solar panels by way of carbon offset. To date Wealden have not replied. We understand that (according to Roy Galley) they are still formulating an Action Plan, hence will have difficulty justifying charges, until such time as they know what they are doing.


In addition, there was a live planning application, that could have been appealed to the Planning Inspectorate if nothing positive happens explanation wise. We recall that the last time this council demolished buildings, rather famously, the Bushy Wood animal sanctuary was proven as a need and the stables were rebuilt. But that, Wealden never contributed to the appalling losses the occupiers of that complex suffered, not did this council pay costs, even though the Inspector had Ordered them to do so. 


By all accounts Miss Leighton seems to be a decent enough person, hence we live in high hopes that she manages to bring some common sense to the table.




LIME POND WILDLIFE SURVEY - Was there an adequate wildlife survey, or any survey at all? That is the question being asked. If so, how did they not spot these ducks, the heron and moorhens on ponds, and the fish and pondweed supporting such species. The proposals as they stand will not deal with the long term accumulation of toxins that will eventually kill these animals and destroy the habitat, contrary to the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017. It is alleged that the developers, and/or Southern Water, have already destroyed a badger haunt at the location known locally as Shit Creek. There are badgers in Lime Park at time of writing.





A looming issue is what appears to be a conspiracy to slowly kill birds and fish in and on the ponds in Lime Park, Herstmonceux. It is alleged that a deal had been brokered in principle between Alison Deshayes and Latimer Developments and/or Clarion Housing Group, to push surface water from a proposed 70 house development at Lime Cross, off the A271, Gardner Street, known locally as Shit Creek, through her half share of a pond that supports herons, mallard ducks and moorhens, frogs - and probably including newts.


It is of course a criminal offence to kill any bird by poisoning. It would be even more serious, if we need to consider anything more serious than intentionally setting out to poison wild animals, if it is that there is or was, a conspiracy to poison any protected animal.


What may constitute a conspiracy, is working with developers to allow surface water containing pesticides and other household detritus, through this pond, by whatever means, directly or indirectly. Indeed, if the proposed development means poisoning this pond and/or harming the habitat, it cannot legally proceed.




The concept of sustainable development appears to have gone out the window with the development of houses at Woodlands View: Oak Way, Hawthorn Lane and Elm Close. This development is built on backfill, supported by a pile-driven steel wall that resembles a brown cliff. It is an eyesore and a blot on the landscape, contrary to all good planning principles.




Then there is the matter of poisoning the only working well in Lime Park. In this case it is not poisoning an animal, it is attempting to poison humans.


This is the only drinking water for a complex of buildings, formerly the old generating works at Herstmonceux. Tim Watson and Gleeson Developments thought it would be a good idea to propose building houses on the hill feeding water to this well.


They are not stupid people, so either this was a deliberate effort to deprive/poison those using this well, or they had not heard of the Groundwater (England and Wales) Regulations 2009, wherein the meaning of hazardous and non-hazardous substances is spelled out.


We have heard a recording of a site visit from 2017 where an officer who works for this council says to an occupier (Mr Kruschandl):


"You do know they are out to get you."


In 1998, solicitor Vic Scarpa explained to the Area South planning committee that:


"We don't want to give planning permission to this applicant."


Clearly Mr Scarpa was advising that Committee to violate Article 14 - and they did so. But if you put the two comments together with another letter written by David Phillips to Peter Townley's solicitors, saying their preferred ownership was not the present occupier, and then it begins to look like a conspiracy to poison a water supply, hence, the grant of consent to build houses within a 100 meter radius, appears to be part of a long running vendetta against Mr Kruschandl.


In this case, also (allegedly) involving Sussex police, who failed to investigate 12 individual criminal complaints in 1997. Obviously, implicating the police officers who failed to investigate, including their chief constable's, where later, a letter was read to full council saying there had been an investigation.


But it was later revealed that Sussex police had supplied blank headed paper to Wealden's officers for them to write their own exoneration.


Now that is what we call a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice!





MIXED USE - Another industrial unit in Hackhurst Lane just a couple of hundred yards from the building Wealden want to demolish. The top floor sure looks lived in. How is this use allowed, but resisted next door?


VACGEN - In 1964 the Vacuum Generators company was formed in East Grinstead, England by Dr Bernard Eastwell and Vic Treasure with a single product - the CR38 all metal right angled valve. At its peak between the mid 1970ís and the end of the 1980ís the VG organisation had grown to cover 27 sites producing an extensive range of scientific equipment with the VG team growing to 2,300 staff.

In the 1980ís the Group established businesses in the mass spectrometry field and were moving into the new epitaxial growth techniques, becoming a leading player in the production MBE (Molecular Beam Epitaxy) field in the 1990ís. The VACGEN plant is now located in a purpose built factory and research facility in Lower Dicker and continues to be a world leader in the manufacture of UHV components, manipulation and sample handling systems.

Unit A, Swallow Business Park, Diamond Drive
Lower Dicker, Hailsham, BN27 4EL, UK

Phone: +44 (0) 1323 379 379
Fax: +44 (0) 1323 379 380



There are other units at Hackhurst Lane where there is a mixed use, so why not for this couple. It smacks of unfavourable treatment, as per Kelly Davis v Wansdyke District Council.


There is no affordable land in the Wealden District for self-builds. This couple could not afford renting at the high rents sustained in the district by the plethora of planning consents for luxury homes, but the absence of actual builds of affordable houses, such as flat-packs or other self-builds.


This is the subject of letters to MP for Wealden, Nusrat Ghani, and James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Communities.




RAKING IN THE CASH - Never mind climate change, these large units near Hailsham reveal no climate mitigation features. Council's don't want small units that attract no commercial rates, They want huge buildings like this one to stack their coffers with money. Never mind all the forest fires in Brazil and Russia. Big business is putting the little man out on the street. So much for NPPF S.17: Support a transition to a low carbon future in changing climate circumstances, such as re-use of existing resources and renewable energy.




SCORCHED EARTH POLICIES - Wealden have declared a Climate Emergency. We await their Climate Action Plan with eager anticipation. If the plan does not work, this view could soon become an arid desertified version of its former self. Copyright photograph © July 2019 Climate Change Trust Hx.