Residents oppose housing plan

David Swales and Margaret Keeley from the Ninfield Action Group
David Swales and Margaret Keeley from the Ninfield Action Group

Plans to build 55 new homes in Ninfield will overdevelop the village, according to a local protest group.

On Saturday (February More than 100 Ninfield residents attended a coffee morning/drop in for people who wanted to find out more about Ninfield Action Group’s (NAG) fight against a proposal to develop Ingrams Farm.

Forest Row-based developers Rydon Homes has applied to Wealden District Council to build six one-bedroom flats, 13 two-bed bedroom homes, 22 three-bedroom homes, and 14 four-bedroom homes.

The drop-in event took place at Ninfield Methodist Hall.

Samantha Guard from NAG told the Observer: “Added to the flooding issues in the Green and Lower Street areas, the danger of the speeding traffic out through the village and the first class primary school being ‘at capacity’, the action group, parish council and residents are strongly of the opinion that the proposed mix of 55 new homes is not in the village’s environmental interest, is not sustainable, and not in accordance with the housing needs of the village.

“A parish council questionnaire identified that small, affordable builds over a period of time could be of benefit to the community and would be workable.”

She said any potential development should consider the area’s archaeological value: “Currently at the Ninfield site of application, Ingrams Farm, there has been an extra archaeological survey done, and, due to findings of Iron Age/Roman British encampments there is a strong push from the residents for a comprehensive dig to be completed and archived before any planning application is even considered. It is also well-recorded that Standard Hill to Lower Street in Ninfield is a site of Norman Historical interest with the 1066 invasion marching up and through this line to the Battlefield.

The Observer contacted Rydon Homes but the company declined to comment.

The application is currently being considered by planners at Wealden District Council and will not be discussed at the council’s next planning meeting.