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