This page is intended to be a record of the various communications concerning the Market Garden Site.
I will try to keep this page as up-to-date as I can.
If I have missed an item that you would like added, please send it to me with the date it was originally published.

Former Market Garden Site w/c 17/11/23
From Piers Cowley (
Dear Residents,

Village People Meeting about the Market Garden site 13/11/23

Village People – Notes on Former Market Garden Site 20/10/23

Ongoing disruption from Market Garden Site, Lower Waites Lane.

Dear Neighbours

Had we known when we stuck our heads above the parapetthat it would be quite so difficult to engage Local Government and Sussex Police in resolving some of the discipline issues with the Market Garden Site, Lower Waites Lane we may well not have started. 

We now know that these issues have happened in the village before, albeit on a smaller scale, where builders essentially use the lanes as an extension of their permitted building site, flouting the planning conditions. In previous instances Rother District Council issued Planning Notices and the local MP Amber Rudd was helpful.

We dispute the view of some elected representatives that “Nothing can be done”. Our attempts to enlist the support of an independent facilitator to resolve problems never got going as the local mediation service is funded by Rother District Council and they identified a conflict of interest so were unable to help.

We’ll continue our ‘Incident Diary’ until the end of the build – whenever that may be as the Developers have now passed their original timescale with no end in sight. We also encourage residents to use social media and the letters page of local newspapers to raise awareness.

Following site-inspections by Rother Officers after eight months into the build in March 2023, the developers GemSelect were warned to abide by the Construction Management Plan which had the result ofestablishing a fire safety point, Health and Safety Notices, the on-site car park and the on-site turning circle to accommodate their delivery vehicles. Waste management systems were put in place, site workers pulled spoil and litter out of the stream and for a few weeks removed the solid line of workers cars/vans parked near the junction of Fairlight Gardens and Lower Waites Lane and along the northern end of Shepherds Way.

This summer residents living next to the Site posted videos on social media of the four music systems being played loudly and similar videos were made of the extraordinary shouting and swearing for Environmental Health and Sussex Police. Whilst the construction noise is inevitable, workers on the scaffolding and roofs start yelling at 8am and continue all day. Residents – some of whom work in the construction industry – consider the Site is a poor advert for anyone in the building trade who works to professional standards. 

We’ve recently been contacted by a resident who fell backwards into a hedge following an incident with a cement mixer and car, and by residents who’ve had accidents on the sharp stones on Smugglers Way – falls resulting in cuts and bruises, whilst mobility scooterusers have had their tyres punctured. Unannounced contractors working on the badger setts also caused alarm and distress. 

The central focus in future is whether the 16 houses meet the planning permissions granted in terms of measurements, height, position, garden size and drainage. For legal reasons we cannot comment at this stage.

During the winter months any residents living around the Site interested in meeting up are invited to our ‘Village People Get Together’ where you are guaranteed a sympathetic audience.

Our first will be on Sunday 12 November at 11am; the next on Sunday 10 December at 11am – both in the Meeting Room, Coastguard Café, Coastguard Lane, Fairlight TN35 4AB. 

RSVP me: if you’re coming along, please.Best wishes, Paul Wilson-Patterson – Village People Network, Bramble Way, Fairlight Cove.

Village People – Notes on Former Market Garden Site 29/06/23

Our efforts to engage with Authorities regarding the former Market Garden Building Site.
Dear Residents – we are a network of neighbours who live next to the building site or on the Site Access Route. 
As many of us are walkers we meet mostly outside or talk online via the ‘What’s Going On In Fairlight’ Facebook Page, where photos and videos of various concerns are posted: the badgers, wildlife area, stream, trees, inconsiderate parking, noise nuisance, reversing lorries, blocked driveways, etc. We’ve recently started a short monthly walkabout, where we view the Site and its impact from resident gardens to offer support.

In April 2023 we asked Rother District Council Planning Officers to provide an update to the high number of villagers who took the time to read the Construction Management Plan (CMP) and completed a Breach of Planning Condition Complaints Form. Rother Officers continue to receive “high levels of correspondence” about the Site. No written updates have been provided.
We also contacted the Neighbourhood Policing Team and were told that Officers had visited the Site in April. No updates have been provided. We’ve been informed Laura Harrison is the main PCSO contact for Fairlight Village. Her email is

A lot of the Site issues fall under the banner of Community Safety. We sent a rep to the Fairlight Parish Council meeting in March and have visited the Drop-in Social Hub twice; however we are unclear as to how the Parish Council’s Five Year Plan regarding crime, neighbourhood watch or parking problems is being implemented.

It would be helpful for any Authorities who visit the Site to spend 15 minutes ‘face to face’ with residents. We’ve been contacted by residents in Fairlight Gardens, Broadway, Smugglers Way, Bramble Way, Lower Waites Lane, Shepherds Way and Waites Lane with issues about how the development impacts on their daily lives, e.g. noise levels, inability to use their gardens, and the resultant stress. We do not speak with one voice and have a wide range of different concerns.
Residents with concerns about the LWL stream, drainage or flooding issues can contact the Lower Waites Lane Road Maintenance Association Chairman

Residents with issues about the builders can contact Piers Cowley, the Site Manager for GemSelect, on or you can also email Gino at

If you need help reporting any issues about the site you can contact our Southern Rother District Councillors: Cllr Andrew Mier or the newly elected rep Cllr Tim Grohne

Best wishes, Paul Wilson-Patterson – ‘Village People’, Bramble Way, Fairlight Cove.

Former Market Garden Site w/c 30/05/23
From Piers Cowley (
Dear Residents,
We will be back on site on Tuesday due to the bank holiday.
On Tuesday there will be a crane on site to lift the trusses into position on plots 14,15 and 16.
The groundworkers will continue digging the foundation to plot 11, fixing the rebar Wednesday and pouring concrete Thursday.
The roofers will continue on plots 1 to 6.
The electrician and plumber will finish 1st fix to plots 1 to 6 and then it will be insulation and carpentry 1st fix and plasterboard.
The brickie will continue external brickwork to plots 1 to 6 following on after the roofers.

Temporary water supply
From Piers Cowley (
Dear Residents,
To keep you updated, the planned water connection for today has been cancelled by The Clancy Group, due to an emergency elsewhere.
I will let you know the new date asap.

Market Garden Site w/c 15/5/23
From Piers Cowley (
Dear Residents,
Next week we will finally start to felt and batten the roofs of plots 1 to 6.
The electricians and plumbers will continue to do the first fix to plots 1 to 6
A crane will be on site to lift up the first floor wall panels to plots 14,15 and 16.
The bricklayer should finish the sub structure blockwork to plot 10 with block and beam delivered on thursday.
The groundworker will commence dig and concrete to plot 11
Southern water will do our temporary water connection on the 16th

Market Garden Site w/c 08/05/23
From Piers Cowley (
Dear Residents,
Another short week next week.
The trusses are complete on plots 1 to 6 with the facia ond soffits ongoing. The roofer will start felt and batten plot 6 on tuesday working towards plot 1.
We will also be starting m and e first fix next week in 1 to 6.
The sub structure blockwork is on going on plot 10 and the block and beam ongoing on plot 9.
The scaffold is ongoing on plots 14,15 and 16 with a crane booked for thursday to lift the first floor panels.
Open reach will commence the upgrade from site to Waites Lane as previously advised.

Notes on the former Market Garden site 23/4/23
From: Paul Wilson-Patterson (

Our efforts to reduce the daily nuisance/disruption from the former Market Garden building site in March/April 2023

Dear Residents – we are a network of villagers (The Village People) who object to the developer’s, GemSelect/Future South Homes, continuing breaches of planning permission.

On Wednesday 12 April we asked Rother District Council Planning Officers to provide updates to the high number of villagers who took the time to read the Construction Management Plan and completed a Breach of Planning Condition Complaints Form.

Anti-social behaviour (Actions)
On Tuesday 28 March we had a positive response from Mr Cowley, the Site Manager, about the 3 workers loudly swearing on Saturday mornings. Since then the site has been closed for the last three Saturdays, a welcome respite.
Two Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) were due to visit the Former Market Garden Site week ending April 14th.
We’ve requested leaflets from them about reporting Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) for residents who don’t have a computer/mobile phone. PCSO Becky Unicombe has offered to drop off ASB leaflets at the Village Hall.
We’ve also written to Carol Studley, the Community Safety Co-ordinator at Rother, who may be able to help us. We await a response.

Badgers (Response)Jane Howard, the Office Manager of MP Sally-Ann Hart, has written to Rother Planning Enforcement who confirmed that they, and a Sussex Police PC, inspected the boundary and state it is in the correct place, although they acknowledge, “There have been problems with the fencing blowing down/falling.”
Mr Cowley also answered our badger query confirming, “I can assure you that we are working to the latest approved drawings which have been set out by a professional surveying company.”

Blocking of junctions, driveways and roads (What to do if it happens again)The correct approach is to ask politely for them to move. If they refuse, make a note of their vehicle registration number and ring the Police on 101.

Cement spillage (ongoing)The lumps of dried cement spillage are still on Pett Level Road from the first two incidents. A further spillage on Friday 14 April dribbled a line of cement from the roundabout on Shepherds Way along Bramble Way and down Smugglers Way. Site workers were sent to shovel it up. The cement mixer incidents are all from the same contractor, but with different drivers.

Damage to road surfaces particularly bottom of Smugglers Way and top of Rockmead Road (ongoing)Rother have told us that East Sussex Highways are aware of the issues. We’d be happier if Highways were able to clarify in writing how the ‘making good’ process works.

Damage to property (ongoing)Resident complaints about damage to Fairlight Garden’s garages by site workers should be made in writing to Mr Cowley. If you have photos of the damage that would help. His contact is 07541200509 or email
You can also email

Debris in the stream (ongoing)Concerns about waste management have been raised with Waste Water and Environmental Health. Large amounts of mud falling into the stream is considered a contaminant, as it may cause a blockage. We spoke with The Environment Agency. Residents need to report to their Call Centre on 03708 506 506. Issues with heavy rain and large amounts of mud falling into the stream can be reported on their 24 hour confidential Incident Line 0800 807060.

Failure to provide a Schedule of Works (ongoing)Mr Cowley, at our request, now sends a weekly update via the Fairlight Residents Association email scheme.Aside from a brief flyer early in 2022, there has been no letter-drop or newsletter/leaflets/posters for residents who don’t use email.There has been no response to our request for the names of key staff from ‘Future South Homes’ and their building credentials.

Levels on-site queried by residents following their Site Visit (ongoing)Do the constructed roofs’ height for Plots 1 – 6 match the planning permission?Clarification about the bin stores for Plots 1 – 6?A concern about the height level of the turning circle, as it looks level with the top of a resident’s garden fence?

Mud on roads (ongoing)For several days at the end of March there was wet slippery mud outside the site entrance on Lower Waites Lane for pedestrians wearing normal outdoor shoes and not wellies. Plus lumps of mud from the waste lorries up Smugglers Way on Wednesday 19 April.

Parking of sub-contractor vehicles (ongoing)The rules are: ‘All contractors, workers and visitors will be informed that absolutely no parking is permitted on any adjoining road or public highway or verge.’ The on-site car park is now being used for materials storage, so some site vehicles are parking on the south and north ends of Shepherds Way. 

Vehicles not driving directly onto site but reversing/manoeuvring/turning off-site in Rockmead/Smugglers Way (ongoing)Vehicles ignoring the ‘no reversing/manoeuvring/turning off-site’ rule have been reported to Rother Planning Enforcement Team as a weekly occurrence during 2023. There were a few weeks of improvement following our open letter to the Chief Executive of Rother on Friday 10 March about health and safety concerns. However on Tuesday 11 April two planned timber frame delivery vehicles arrived at the same time; one reversed up Smugglers Way, sat blocking Rockmead Road and then reversed down Smugglers Way onto the site. There are ongoing issues with delivery vehicles travelling at speed, driving on the pavements and general impatient/inconsiderate driving with pedestrians and others.

Thank you for reading; hopefully our May update will include more improvements.

If you need any help to report any issues about the site you can contact Cllr Andrew Mier or go to the Drop In Social Hub run by the Parish Council on Monday’s at the Village Hall. All contact details are on

Former Market Garden site w/c 24/4/23
From: Piers Cowley {
Dear Residents,
Next week we will be continuing with the roof trusses to completion to plots 1 to 6 and will then be looking to get the roofers in to commence the tiling.
The groundworkers are going to commence dig and concrete to plot 10.
The bricklayers will continue with the sub structure blockwork to plot 9.
We will be doing muckaway on Monday.
The scaffold will continue to plots 14,15 and 16 with a crane on site Friday to commence the ground floor walls.

Former Market Garden site w/c 17/4/23
From: Piers Cowley {
Dear Residents,
Next week we will be continuing with the trusses to plots 1 to 6 and will have a crane on site on monday to lift the spandrel panels into place.
The block and beam to plot 14 should be complete early part of the week and the scaffold will be going up on plots 14,15 and 16.
The foundations to plot 9 will be complete today with the sub structure blockwork starting on tuesday.

Former Market Garden site w/c 10/4/23
From: Piers Cowley {
Dear Residents,
The site will be shut on Monday due to the bank holiday.
On Tuesday we will be having the roof trusses to plots 1 to 6 delivered on 2no wagons and lifted into place with a crane.
We are continuing with the sub structure blockwork to plot no 14.
The block and beam is basically complete on plots 15 and 16 with the plinth blocks being laid starting tuesday.
We will be continuing with the retaining wall to plot no 9 and commencing to dig the footings of plot 9.
Have a good weekend
Piers Cowley

Former Market Garden Site – look ahead 3/4/23
From: Piers Cowley {
Dear Residents,
I was not in on Friday but the plan this week is
plots 1 to 6 first floor panels delivered today with the crane on site tomorrow to lift into position.
plot 14 substructure blockwork on going. Possible block delivery later in the week
Plot 9 footings commence tuesday with concrete booked for wednesday.
It will be a short week this week due to Easter so no work on site.

Former Market Garden Site – w/e 31/03/23
From: Piers Cowley {
Dear Residents,
Next week we will be continuing with the timber frame on plots 1 to 6. The floor joist will be going down and the first floor wall panels will be delivered on Thursday.
We are having the block and beam to plots 15 and 16 delivered on monday. 
We will be carting away as much of the muck pile as we can on monday and tuesday if the weather is with us. 
We will be starting the sub structure blockwork to plot 14. 1 delivery of blocks and drainage material.

Delivery of Timbers – Market Garden Site 18/3/23
Dear. Resident,
Delivery of Timbers (Frames / Trusses?) – Market Garden Site
Following discussions with Rother Officers I have the following information relating to the delivery of timbers next week. The method of delivery has been agreed with Rother officers and is therefore permitted –
“Future South Homes have now made arrangements to alter the method of delivery which would mean that the same loads would still be delivered on Monday (with vehicles in forward gear only), but off-loaded and stockpiled on site and then the crane would arrive on Tuesday to lift them into their final position.”
I am told for operational reasons the crane will have to be in the road for a couple of days before being moved on-site. 
Residents can be assured that I am in frequent, minimum weekly, contact with Rother Officers who in turn are actively engaged with the developer.
Please continue to report any breaches of planning conditions in general or the Construction Management Plan in particular via Rother’s website. Photos / videos are especially useful.
Best wishes,
Councillor Andrew Mier 
Rother District Council – Southern Rother Ward
T. 01424-814178

Former Market Garden Site – 17/03/23
From: Piers Cowley {
Dear Residents,
My name is Piers Cowley and I have taken over from Mark Brockhurst as site manager on the Former Market Garden Site. My contact number is 07541 200509.
It is my intention to provide weekly updates on our weekly look ahead programme.
For the remainder of this week we will be continuing with the scaffold to plots 1 to 6 with small deliveries coming on 3.5t drop side vehicles.
We are continuing with substructure blockwork to plots 15 and 16 with block deliveries daily on 26t rigid vehicles.
We also plan to have muck away (subject to availability) today and tomorrow which will be carted away in 6/8 wheel rigid trucks. Probably approx 6 loads.
Next week we are looking to start the Timber frame on plots 1 to 6. A crane has been booked for Monday with deliveries on regular intervals on rigid vehicles, however due to the crane being on site we will not be able to maneouvre on site and the only way will be to reverse down Bramble Way and Smugglers Way. We will have men on the ground to safely bank the wagons to prevent any damage to property or injury to residents. We have informed Mr Bevan of Rother District Council. However at the time of writing our scaffolders have gone awol so this will probably change.
To date we have thrown off the previous ground workers as they were not even trying to play ball, we have also banned a plant hire company and a concrete delivery driver from coming back to site.
Any queries, please let me know.
Piers Cowley