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.

Village People Meeting about the Market Garden site 28/01/24

Dear FRA Members
For those of you interested in the Market Garden site here are our notes from our recent meeting:
Notes of the Village People meeting, Sunday 28th January 2024, Coastguards Café.

Attendees: Anna, Betty, Chetz, Heather, Helen, Jeff, Jenny, Josephine, Paul, Wendy

Reps: Andrew – Councillor, Rother District Council (RDC)
Lyn – Lower Waites Lane-Fairlight Cove-Maintenance Association (LWL-FC-MA), Pathfinder

Summary Of Meeting
Whilst being sympathetic to the current housing crisis and accepting the Developer won permission to build 16 houses, everyone has lost patience with them flouting the conditions of the Construction Management Plan (CMP) and with the various Authorities (primarily Rother District Council Officers) refusing to meet with residents to discuss, listen and resolve at least some of the issues. Poor management of the Construction Site has resulted in it running well behind schedule with a continuing negative impact on our safety, health and daily lives.

1. Notes Of Last Meeting
Cllr. Derek Greenup of Fairlight Parish Council (FPC) wanted us to note that when the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are in the village they are present to discuss a wide range of concerns.

2. Communications
Our notes are circulated via the email list on the Fairlight Residents Association (FRA) as we are Members. They are then published on www.fairlight.org.uk under the ‘Market Garden Site’ button which, if you scroll down, is at the bottom of the page.

Photos and videos of current issues are posted onto the ‘What’s Going On In Fairlight’ Facebook Page which is free to join. Fairlight Parish Council voted against setting up a separate village Neighbourhood Watch Facebook Page; we had hoped to be able to use it to raise the issues of drivers using handheld devices, inconsiderate driving, speeding, damage to property, noise nuisance, cannabis use, etc.

Our Agendas/Minutes can be printed for residents living next to the Site without a computer.

3. Fairlight Gardens, Broadway, LWL, Smugglers
Wendy said the hedge cutting on the corner of Broadway and LWL had not been cleared away. There was a large welt of mud/sludge which Chetz had requested the Site Manager remove but this has not been done. We assume ESCC Highways requested this work to reveal the speed signs which had become overgrown with vegetation.

Betty had driveway ‘markers’ with reflective lights installed outside her property last year; one has been knocked over and removed. She would like it replaced. Her fence panels continue to be regularly hit and broken by site vehicles. Since our last meeting they have been temporarily fixed. She requests that the Developer will, as promised, replace her current fencing in its entirety before they leave.

Jen had walked with Cllr. Tim Grohne, RDC, to inspect the diggers being driven in and out of the 3 breaches made to the site’s boundary fence at the Fairlight Gardens Garages. This land is owned by the Developers. Photos show evidence of safety concerns, diggers backing out into pedestrian walkways, the mud heap left in the road and surface cracks. The residents who visited the Developer’s Office to pay rent on their garages are concerned that the issue on the leases remains unresolved.

It was queried why there are stored materials in front of the main badger Sett in an alleged breach of the CMP. Issues about the badgers should be made to Ann C who is our point of contact. It’s really helpful if everyone from all sides of the Site communicate through our reps to the Ecologist and Natural England.

4. Heights, Measurements, Glazing
Can any residents please measure the lengths of the gardens?

Cllr. Mier and resident Paul Capps tried to measure the alleged discrepancies of the heights of the houses. It was agreed Cllr. Mier should request that Rother or Wealden send a qualified surveyor onto the site to professionally measure the heights and garden lengths. And also to ask RDC to confirm in writing the precise lengths of each garden with the original plot numbers, at the time of the Planning Appeal on the documents, as a priority.

Jen mentioned the recent reports in the media of a development in Sittingbourne which has caused a similar upset.

5. Trees
Trees and scrub at the south west edge of the site were recently removed with chain saws. Ann C has sent a complaint as living opposite she received no advance notice of the works. The Site Manager who attended was unable to explain why they needed to be cut. It was queried whether the original plans showed a wooden fence on the side of the stream facing LWL. Cllr. Mier said all the plans were on the Rother Planning website, but most residents find this difficult to understand, so again he was asked to clarify. Jeff has requested that Rother grant Tree Protection Order (TPO) status for the remaining trees along the stream on LWL in front of Fiddlers’ Green and Doris’s.

The issue with Jo’s oak tree has not progressed. She was visited by Cllr. Turnbull, FPC, who was kind. We await a response from Rother to our persistent queries about whether the public have a right to view paperwork regarding removing or cutting trees with TPOs.

6. Stream With Heras Fencing
We continue to monitor the depressing state of stored materials lying next to the stream in alleged breach of the CMP. East Sussex County Council (ESCC) requested it should be 1 metre from the stream and anything falling in should be cleared by the site workers. They are very unreliable in this regard. The rubbish thrown from height covering the far eastern end of the Site agitates residents as it blows into the stream and is viewable from resident’s homes and the 1066 coastal path. Jeff forwards photos to ESCC Flood Officer via the LWL-FC-MA.

7. Noise Nuisance: Site PA Systems & Environmental Health
Chetz reported that she still has not had a reply to her complaint to Rother Environmental Health. Despite Cllr. Mier and the PCSO saying they would chase it up. Jeff continues to directly ask workers in front of his house to turn down the volume of their music systems. Some respond politely and do so, others are more resistant and turn their radios back up when they think Jeff is out of earshot. There have been over 30 complaints about the playing of excessively loud music since June 2022 from residents who are having to keep their windows closed against the disturbance. We all agree that the loud music has reached intolerable levels and Rother should enforce a ban on radios/music systems on the site.

8. Parking
Contrary to the Planning Conditions up to 7 site vehicles continue to park in a solid line on the main road (Waites Lane/Shepherds Way). It was felt the drivers can easily park on Commanders Walk and Meadow Way and walk a few more steps to the site. Rother have not answered our questions, over a 20 month period, about why there isn’t an on-site car park nor why it is that some of the delivery lorries aren’t able to get onto the site. Residents believe that access by emergency services is compromised, especially fire engines. Due to our health and safety being ignored it was agreed that we should take our story to the Press.

9. Southern Water & Pathfinder
The drop-in liaison meeting with Southern Water Pathfinder Staff on Monday 18th December in the Village Hall was fascinating. It’s an interesting project for everyone to get involved with and claim your free water butts. We were given a Pathfinder email address to submit our photos of standing water anywhere in the village and the alleged mini streams in Fairlight Gardens etc, to contribute to the village research. We can also submit our monthly log so Pathfinder staff are up to speed on village issues. Lyn gave us a full update, with the good news that the sewer pipes will begin to be re-lined in May.

10. Planning Feedback
The Central Government Planning Inspectorate opened and shut our case saying the appeal was over 12 months ago. We can make comments via their feedback section. Jo believes she can ask for a visit, as she has the TPO and because the new houses are so close to her property. We can all write to the Housing Minister to raise concerns about poorly managed Construction Sites, underfunded local authorities, lack of public engagement and accountability.

The Ombudsman responded to our complaint about Rother District Council by informing us we had not properly followed the full and final RDC Complaints Procedure. We asked Rother to clarify their complaints procedure and received no reply.

The MP’s Office kindly sent us their monthly response from Rother District Council. Anna read out the standard response letter we send. Cllr. Mier will contact the MP for more support.

11. ’Safer Fairlight’ Event
Those who attended the event at Fairlight Village Hall on Tuesday 16th January on a chilly icy evening finally met the PCSO, although we were disappointed that a ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ stall wasn’t there. It was suggested it would be helpful if all Parish Councillors could try to listen in a way that residents feel heard.

12. A Public Meeting – Parking/Traffic Calming
Cllr. Mier is available on Sunday 25th February, 11am – 12.30am, for the ‘Village People’ to hold a meeting in the Village Hall about parking. This is now booked and will be paid for by donations from amongst ourselves.

13. Any Other Business
We suggested that in future Rother could ensure all of its Developers are registered with the ‘Considerate Constructors Scheme’ or similar, so that if Rother don’t have the resources to deal with residents’ complaints, at least we’d have somewhere to turn.

The next ‘Village People’ meeting is on Sunday 25th February 2024, 11:00 – 12:30, Village Hall, Broadway. Open to all.

Please confirm you are coming either by phoning Paul (01424 812038) or emailing your RSVP to: paul.wilsonpatterson@gmail.com

Village People Meeting about the Market Garden site 10/12/23

Dear FRA Members
For those of you interested in the Market Garden site here are our notes from our recent meeting:

Notes of Village People meeting, Sunday 10th December 2023, Coastguards Café.

Attendees: Anna, Betty, Chetz, Heather, Jo, Paul, Wendy

Reps: Lyn – Lower Waites Lane-Fairlight Cove-Maintenance Association (LWL-FC-MA), Pathfinder
Derek and Ron – Fairlight Parish Council (FPC) Police Liaison, Neighbourhood Watch
Apologies: Jeff, Jen, Lee

Summary of meeting
A lot of people are very upset and concerned about the impact of the Market Garden site on their lives; both the construction phase, and the finished development. A feeling that women’s voices are not heard fully. Difficulties with engaging with the Developer, Sussex Police and Rother District Council. The need to keep recording and reporting issues and aligning this with the Site Construction Management Plan. This Group will enable us to support each other, and there is support from people who don’t live in the immediate vicinity of the site.

1. Notes of last meeting
There were no comments. Notes are circulated via Fairlight Residents Association (FRA) email list but can be printed for anyone that needs them. Paul to print and drop a copy to Betty. Our FRA emails are then put on www.fairlight.org.uk under the Market Garden Site button.

2. Matters arising
None.

3. Fairlight Gardens Garages
Some residents lease garages shown within the plans for the Market Garden Site boundaries. They are trying to pay rent every year but cheques are not cashed by the Developer. There is a lot of antagonism on this issue. Residents have been advised to get a solicitor and collect invoices for damage to garages and other property.

4. Fairlight Gardens Water
Residents need to take photos with details of the date and comments on what the photos are showing. They can be sent to LWL-FC-MA lowerwaiteslane@gmail.com or speak to Lyn – and they will be sent on to Southern Water’s Pathfinder project.

There will be a drop-in liaison meeting with Southern Water Pathfinder Staff on Monday 18th December in the Village Hall. All welcome. (See email sent out via FRA for more information.) This is in a private quiet room and is informal.

Question: What is Pathfinder? Lyn: management of water and sewage. Chris Bunch campaigned to get Southern Water to add Fairlight to the project. Can’t make sewer bigger. Can’t put sewer pipe in stream. Sewage works towards Pett not big enough to cater for new developments. Excess water from cliffs adding to it. Water from newer parts of Fairlight going down LWL.

Anna has asked for hard copies of Pathfinder Technical Report for people without computers. Also asked for link to Pathfinder on Fairlight Focus website, so it stops being seensolely as a LWL issue and more as an important Fairlight infrastructure project. Residents have asked to see the minutes of meetings and would like to know more.

5. Bank slip stream sett
Badgers are no longer in this second sett, the works have been properly approved by the Ecologist. The stream bank has slipped and it is being worked on. The plans show this area as a car park.

6. Issues with the Market Garden site and the stream
There have been rumours that the LWL stream is to be ‘piped’ and covered by the Developers. Lyn has reported this and it won’t happen. There is no planning permission for this and it’s unlikely to be approved.

Concern expressed about the LWL stream when it’s behind gardens as flooding might cause blockages or it becomes overwhelmed. Also concerns about water running down Battery Hill due to road drains not being cleared. Warren Road used to have septic tanks but now contribute to sewer. Also concern about sewer from Market Garden Site joining LWL sewer at The Avenue and overwhelming it.

7. Noise nuisance
A lot of concern about site workers swearing with residents hearing it in their gardens, and needing to protect children. Concern about lack of Police support and action on this – need to report it to get action. We have reported it and not felt supported.

Ron has spoken to senior police officer and Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) about this – asked them to patrol occasionally, no one has seen any. However, PCSOs can only go where they are directed by the senior officer. So issues need to be reported to get this actioned. Reports that site workers are smoking cannabis off site.

Derek noted that when the PCSOs go to the Parish Council Drop In Social Hub (DISH) they are fully engaged with people on issues such as parking. Noted that Sussex Police gave a grant to DISH, but that villagers in employment or education can’t meet the PCSOs at this time. Also noted that when other Parish Councils such as Etchingham meet with PCSOs there is a full report, so people who can’t attend due to work/care commitments can keep up to date, but Fairlight doesn’t get this.

Chetz has reported radio and swearing issues to Rother Environmental Health but has not received a reply.

Action Anyone can send reports of nuisance noise/swearing to Chetz – include details of date and time, with photos/videos where possible.

8. Market Garden Site Vehicles Parking
Planning conditions allow for six site vehicles to park on-site; no site vehicles are allowed to park on adjoining roads to the site. The on-site car park is currently being used storage. Site workers can park on Meadow Way/Commanders Walk/Fyrsway/Gorsethorn Way but the Planning Conditions state there is to be no parking on Waites Lane/Shepherds Way/Smugglers Way/Broadway. Site Access route is the main road, Bramble Way/Smugglers Way.

9. Future Public Meeting
Fairlight Parish Council have offered to pay the costs of hall hire and non-alcoholic refreshments for ‘Village People’ to hold a meeting in the Village Hall, an Offer we accepted and said thank you for. However we need to decide who we want to attend and listen to our concerns. Suggestions included: Rother Planning Officers, Police, East Sussex County Council, Highways, GemSelect, Sally-Ann Hart MP, Government Planning Inspector.

Noted that our MP has previously referred us back to Rother, but she could be asked to persuade GemSelect to attend. She previously arranged for the ‘Village People’ to have a weekly phone call with Rother Planning Team – but this was declined as our conversation could not be put on the record. We asked for brief written updates for the community or a brief monthly face-to-face meeting. Regarding the format of any public meeting, there was a preference for an ‘old fashioned’ panel style meeting where you can hear what people are saying, rather than an informal ‘drop-in’.

If it was just Cllrs Meir and Grohne who might come we wouldn’t hold a public meeting as it was felt they don’t have any authority.

10. Market Garden Site Construction Management Plan (CMP)
The Market Garden Site is an “ongoing case” that Rother Planning Team are managing, so if something untoward happens this will all contribute to evidence. Anna advised that Rother Planning Enforcement can only accept complaints about specific planning conditions contained in the Construction Management Plan. We can gather issues and Paul will allocate them to the ‘Village People’ log. We need to be clear about which dates/documents/plans we are referring to in our complaints and we need to use the correct process.People without a computer can phone Cllrs Meir or Grohne.

Action Paul to contact Architect to see if they have more helpful drawings.

Action Chetz to let Site Manager know that the Market Garden direction sign is missing from the corner of Broadway/Waites Lane next to the Village Hall. We want site traffic to use the approved Site Access Route.

Action Chetz to set up WhatsApp group so that residents can quickly report any issues with the site.

11. Market Garden Site Plans
Betty outlined issues with reversing lorries and her garden fence being damaged. The Site Manager said they will replace entire fence but didn’t give this in writing. She needs the fence to keep her dog safe. Anna to contact Cllr Meir to assist.

Jo outlined issues with the oak tree at the edge of her back garden which  is at the east side of the site. it has a Tree Preservation Order. The developers had permission to remove part of a branch but they removed the whole branch. They did apologise and offered to build her a higher fence as well as plant some new tress. The mains electric cable is near the tree so care needs to be taken when planting new trees. Her house had to be built 20ft away from the tree, but the new houses are closer. She has to keep her curtains closed and the new houses block her winter sun.

Action Jo to see if she has the apology and offer of fence/new trees in writing.

Action Ron (Fairlight Parish Council tree warden) will visit Jo to look at her tree issues.

Cllrs Mier and Grohne will be able to help us, and issues of light and privacy can be followed up when houses are finished.

12/13. Neighbourhood Watch
Ron has contacted a police inspector who can be a local liaison. It is hoped a Fairlight Group will be set up in January. There was disappointment that a village Neighbourhood Watch Scheme is still not available as we’ve had to fend for ourselves for 18 months.

Action We can all sign up to Neighbourhood Watch as individuals for free – https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/joinNW. The Alerts are written by a Community Engagement Officer and are very positive about the work Sussex Police do with communities.

14. Any Other Business
A resident with building skills has made approximate measurements of the heights which suggest agreement with informal feedback from Rother that the heights of the Market Garden Site houses are correct. The Building Inspector will confirm.

Residents noted the need to get trees and roads reinstated after the build is complete. Chetz has already asked the Parish Council to remind the Developer about this. It was suggested she could do this again and Anna will try to attend Parish Council Planning Sub Committee Meetings where the Market Garden Site is a standing item on the Agenda. It would be helpful if other residents attended these meetings.

Parking issues were raised there last week and there is a Parish Council Drop-In Session on speeding issues on Tuesday 16th January.

The next ‘Village People’ meeting is on Sunday 28th January 2024, 11:00 – 12:30, Coastguard Cafe.

Please confirm you are coming either by phoning Paul (01424 812038) or emailing your RSVP to: paul.wilsonpatterson@gmail.com

Former Market Garden Site w/c 17/11/23
From Piers Cowley (formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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: paul.wilsonpatterson@gmail.com 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 laura.harrison@sussex.pnn.police.uk

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  lowerwaiteslane@gmail.com

Residents with issues about the builders can contact Piers Cowley, the Site Manager for GemSelect, on formermarketgarden@gmail.com or you can also email Gino at futuresouthhomes.ltd@gmail.com

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

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

Former Market Garden Site w/c 30/05/23
From Piers Cowley (formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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.
Regards
Piers

Temporary water supply
From Piers Cowley (formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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.
Thanks
Piers

Market Garden Site w/c 15/5/23
From Piers Cowley (formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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
Regards
Piers

Market Garden Site w/c 08/05/23
From Piers Cowley (formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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.
Thanks
Piers

Notes on the former Market Garden site 23/4/23
From: Paul Wilson-Patterson (paul.electricpencil@gmail.com)

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 formermarketgarden@gmail.com
You can also email futuresouthhomes.ltd@gmail.com

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 www.fairlightparishcouncil.org.uk

Former Market Garden site w/c 24/4/23
From: Piers Cowley {formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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.
Regards
Piers

Former Market Garden site w/c 17/4/23
From: Piers Cowley {formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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.
Regards
Piers

Former Market Garden site w/c 10/4/23
From: Piers Cowley {formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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
Regards
Piers Cowley

Former Market Garden Site – look ahead 3/4/23
From: Piers Cowley {formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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.
Regards
Piers

Former Market Garden Site – w/e 31/03/23
From: Piers Cowley {formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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.
Regards
Piers

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 {formermarketgarden@gmail.com)
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.
Thanks
Piers Cowley