A sprat to catch a mackerel

With reference to Marchfields application for planning permission to add an extra 67 homes to the proposed Barnhorn Green development.

The residents of Bexhill are expected to accept that there is a pressing need for increased housing in and around the town generally

Some might argue that we should be prepared to play our part in dealing with the housing crisis which undoubtedly affects the south east.

The demographic of our town probably makes it unsuitable to be part of the solution to that particular crisis.

I am unaware of any relevant detailed objective research, but I stand to be corrected on that point.

My opinion is that proposed developments are being driven mainly by the motives of profit and council tax revenue.

The original Barnhorn Green proposal was for 275 housing units plus various infrastructure amenities,one of those being a new primary school. I have no idea about the statistics involved but I will work on an average of one primary school age child per household.

If the new school is scrapped in favour of an extra 67 homes the total potential number of child residents could be in the region of 340.

The actual figure could be more or less as my calculation is far from scientific.

We could,however,be looking at approximately 11 primary school classes of around 30 pupils.

I believe that 30 children per class is regarded as far more than an ideal number.

Little Common School is already accepting pupils over a wide catchment area and is hard pushed to cope.

How many pupil numbers will be generated by the much larger developments proposed for the North of the town? Where will they go to school?

In making this new application, Marchfields are taking us for fools!

The Observer article states “…the developer says discussions with East Sussex County Council’s education department showed there was ‘no longer a requirement’ for the proposed school.” Really?

I would like to know the identity of the individual,or individuals,within the education department responsible for this very arbitrary volte-face.

I would like to know the identity of the individual,or individuals,within Marchfields organisation with whom the issue was discussed.

I would like to know the process of reasoning by which the decision was reached

Please,whoever you people are, provide your identities and explain yourselves!

I suspect that the inclusion of a school in the original proposal was always intended to be abandoned in favour of more housing units.

It was a ‘Sprat to catch a mackerel’.

The same may apply to the proposed provision of a nursing home and GP surgery.

This smacks of sharp practice and requires investigation. My next action will be to refer the situation to Huw Merriman MP.

I urge other Observer readers to do the same.

If our elected local authority representatives approve this latest application they are also taking us for fools.

Let us remember them at the ballot box!

Mike Hills

Cowdray Park Road


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