Jeremy Wright


JEREMY WRIGHT MP Kenilworth & Southam



Jeremy Paul Wright, QC is an English Conservative Party politician and the current Member of Parliament for the constituency of Kenilworth and Southam in Warwickshire. From 2005 to 2010 he served as MP for Rugby and Kenilworth. Jeremy remained in his post as attorney general following Theresa May's cabinet re-shuffle and will attend Cabinet meetings.


Jeremy is the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As such he was consulted as to heritage issues and a planning application in the Wealden District for up to 70 houses, where it appeared that the National Planning Policy Framework was being ignored. In reply to correspondence, the DCMS replied to confirm that Historic England has the responsibility for heritage assets rather than the Government itself. We note though that the latest National Planning Policy Framework draft says that lesser valued assets should be considered with a view to them becoming more important at some point in the future and that councils should compile a Local List, which Wealden have steadfastly refused to do in over twenty years of asking.


Accordingly, the aggrieved immediately dispatched a letter to Historic England (see below).





Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP
Secretary of State, Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA                                                                                                                    24 July 2018

Dear Mr Wright,




We are writing to you to alert you to what appears to be a heritage travesty in the making, caused by the stampede to build across green belt close to villages in the South of England.

We have written to the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government requesting a call in of the above application, which we understand from the Ministry of Housing would now be at the point where Reserved Matters are applied for by the developer and well before such an application went to Committee at Wealden District Council.

Please find enclosed copy of our letter to Greg Chuter (the County Archaeologist at East Sussex County Council) dated July 23 2018 and his letter dated July 18 2018. Please also find enclosed copy of our letter to the Right Hon James Brokenshire MP dated June 30 2018 and the reply from the Ministry of Housing dated July 12 2018.

Our concerns are stated in the above communications, where the water supplies from these old wells are that we rely on. We are of course keen to preserve the well intact and working as part of the local heritage, to include bottling of water, that appears to have taken place previously on this site.

The proposal as it stands conflicts with National policies as per the Framework document, where the proposed development could have significant effects beyond the immediate boundary of the proposed development site, in that blocking off of most of the land above from ground soakage with hardstandings and drainage gullies, while at the same time allowing pesticide and herbicide contamination of the reduced (garden) areas, is a sure recipe to poison the old well for all time, unless conditions are applied to prevent that from happening, such as the relocation of houses to preserve the existing unsullied ground water drainage.

Unfortunately, in the Conditions attaching to this Outline application, there is no mention of the old wells and that they supply water to a number of entities in Lime Park. That being the case, there is no scope for an appropriate condition where the Grant appears to be defective in that there is no such inclusion.


The NPPF is plain as to the need to protect historic assets as being irreplaceable. The Generating complex is not Nationally important at the moment, but could well become so in the future as other early electricity generating sites are lost to development.

Section 12 of NPPF @ paragraphs 128 and 129 spells out what is required when considering a site that impacts on a heritage asset. In this case although the developer knew of the well from the photographs in their consultant’s report, no field evaluation took place prior to the Committee hearing this application. It may be therefore that their decision is ultra vires.

With reference to paragraph 135, where no mention was made of the wells and current water supply, it would have been impossible for Wealden’s planning Committee to reach a balanced judgement as to the scale of loss of the working well in this location, once again invalidating the Grant of permission.

The Generating building is on a Monument Protection Programme along with Rudyard Kipling’s “Batemans” and Battersea Power Station, of that the County Archaeologist is aware.

We are also concerned as to sustainability, where a development such as that proposed wipes out other sustainable units in depriving them of their historic water supplies.

We wonder if, in the circumstances described it might be appropriate for the DCMS to take a look at how and why such an important consideration was overlooked by the local authority and the applicant’s heritage consultants.

It might be appropriate to mention that Wealden were found to have misled their planning Committee in a similar application for significant over development quantum at Berwick, High Court reference: CO/5983/2016. The case and presenting officer, Kelvin Williams, was the same for both applications, meaning that the same misdirection was likely. Please see the attached Order dated January 31 2017.

Please do not hesitate to ask for further clarification.

We look forward to hearing from you with any advice or observations at your earliest convenience.


Yours sincerely,

for Herstmonceux Museum Ltd



The oldest working well in a Sussex village could be poisoned by developers


WELL, WELL, WELL - Councils that are strapped for cash may be cutting corners and granting consents where they would never have contemplated doing so before and that is because they have been directed to build huge numbers of houses where in the past they were only granting consents in small numbers to keep control over who got the cream. Wealden District Council are an example of a council that is known for corrupt practices. Via a partnership with Sussex police they were granted immunity to prosecution. Since 2015 they have been dishing out consents to developers in the rush to generate additional rates and Community Infrastructure Levy payments to make up for central Government cuts. This is regardless of the appropriateness of mass developments around villages of character and charm and urban sprawl. In the case of the proposed development above, this council is likely to become complicit in poisoning a public water supply from the only surviving well in Herstmonceux village in Sussex, as per the board above protesting as to the impending ruination of their water supply.


How will this affect Wealden's future solvency against criminal prosecutions for environmental offences and civil claims that are uninsurable? Nobody can say. But this council will be leaving the builders and occupiers of those homes built unlawfully to litigate for years to come as to selling houses unfit for purpose - and the council may be vicariously liable for failing to secure reasonable conditions.


Recently, the developers (Thakeham, Latimer and Clarion Group) admitted that they did not know that the well provided water to the public. But said that this was the proposal that the council wanted to see. Does that not smack of a done deal? Surely the committee make that decision, but where a proposal is for up to seventy houses on green belt, we would expect to see alternative scenarios with less houses to mitigate any environmental damage.


Two grants from this council that were challenged in the High Court were overturned by way of Judicial Review. These grants were by the same planning officer and committees as the above application. A water level management board has advised that the proposed surface water run off solution is not sound and will lead to flooding at a point where a sewage pump sub-station is to be located, potentially leading to foul water pollution to add to the misery of slowly poisoning those drinking from this well (they do not have a mains water supply) and destroying a heritage asset in the process.





Sir Laurie Magnus & Duncan Wilson OBE
Historic England
4th Floor
Cannon Bridge House
25 Dowgate Hill
London EC4R 2YA                                                                                                              3 October 2018

Dear Sirs,




We have been in correspondence with the Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP and please find enclosed copy of the reply on his behalf dated October 1 2018.

We’ve also been communicating with the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP in his capacity of Secretary of State for the Environment, copy of our letter dated September 24 2018 also attached, and please note that the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP is included as the Secretary of State for Communities and Housing in connection with the planning element of this matter.

The subject buildings were placed on a monument protection programme by English Heritage between 1999-2000 that we assume includes the old wells and other water features such as a medium sized underground water storage tank. We understand that regarding heritage issues and National Planning policies, that you are the statutory consultee.

The buildings have recently been treated and further repaired to ensure survival for another 100 years. It would be a pity if the last surviving well in the village were lost to a development that is unsustainable where they supply good quality water to the public in a world where conservation and sustainability are high on the UN’s agenda.

We would appreciate your advice as to potential additional protection measures to conserve this unique utility as being archaeologically important remains of man’s progression for the enjoyment of future generations, of which a fully functional well may be considered to be important in years to come as to the survival of the complex as a whole and complete installation.

Bearing in mind the advanced stage of the planning process, your input may help the planners reach an informed decision where in 2015 they voted without having all the facts. For that reason could we beg a reply at your very earliest opportunity.

Yours sincerely,

for Herstmonceux Museum Ltd



The British countryside and a heritage asset about to be violated





 -  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











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The United Kingdom has many political parties, some of which are represented in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Below are links to the websites of the political parties that were represented in the House of Commons after the 2015 General Election:















Conservative Party

Co-operative Party

Democratic Unionist Party

Green Party

Labour Party

Liberal Democrats

Plaid Cymru

Scottish National Party

Sinn Féin

Social Democratic and Labour Party

UK Independence Party

Ulster Unionist Party





We are concerned with how the make up of the above parties and (reasonably) popular policies may affect the Wealden district, because we are all brothers on two islands in the Atlantic Ocean and what we do or fail to do is likely to rebound on ourselves and our fellow man in other nations around the world. How we act today influences policies in other countries in our global community. It is not just about us and our patch.




East Sussex has five District and Borough Councils, each with a border on the coast. From west to east they are: 


Eastbourne Borough Council

Hastings Borough Council

Lewes District Council 

Rother District Council 

Wealden District Council


There is also East Sussex County Council as the provider of services to the 5 East Sussex districts.


As near neighbours and with councils now sharing facilities and working together, these area of Sussex are included in our remit and an area where climate change and affordable housing are issues that need urgent attention. Where the coastline is a feature in every Council, Blue Growth is a food security issue, especially where this side of of our local economy is under-exploited.






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