Kenilworth & Southam
Jeremy Paul Wright, QC is an English
Conservative Party politician and the current Member of
Parliament for the constituency of Kenilworth and Southam in Warwickshire. From 2005 to 2010 he served as MP for
Rugby and Kenilworth. Jeremy
remained in his post as attorney general following Theresa May's cabinet
re-shuffle and will attend Cabinet meetings.
is the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. As such
he was consulted as to heritage issues and a planning application in the
Wealden District for up to
70 houses, where it appeared that the National Planning Policy Framework
was being ignored. In reply to correspondence, the DCMS replied to
confirm that Historic England has the responsibility for heritage assets
rather than the Government itself. We note though that the latest
National Planning Policy Framework draft says that lesser valued assets
should be considered with a view to them becoming more important at some
point in the future and that councils should compile a Local List, which
Wealden have steadfastly refused to do in over twenty years of asking.
the aggrieved immediately dispatched a letter to Historic England (see
FROM HERSTMONCEUX MUSEUM LTD 24-07-18
Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP
Secretary of State, Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
24 July 2018
Dear Mr Wright,
REF: PLANNING GRANT No: WD/2015/0090/MAO
HERSTMONCEUX, EAST SUSSEX
We are writing to you to alert you to what appears to be a heritage travesty in the making, caused by the stampede to build across green belt close to villages in the South of England.
We have written to the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government requesting a call in of the above application, which we understand from the Ministry of Housing would now be at the point where Reserved Matters are applied for by the developer and well before such an application went to Committee at Wealden District Council.
Please find enclosed copy of our letter to Greg Chuter (the County Archaeologist at
East Sussex County Council) dated July 23 2018 and his letter dated July 18 2018. Please also find enclosed copy of our letter to the Right Hon
James Brokenshire MP dated June 30 2018 and the reply from the Ministry of Housing dated July 12 2018.
Our concerns are stated in the above communications, where the water supplies from these old wells are that we rely on. We are of course keen to preserve the well intact and working as part of the local heritage, to include bottling of water, that appears to have taken place previously on this site.
The proposal as it stands conflicts with National policies as per the Framework document, where the proposed development could have significant effects beyond the immediate boundary of the proposed development site, in that blocking off of most of the land above from ground soakage with hardstandings and drainage gullies, while at the same time allowing pesticide and herbicide contamination of the reduced (garden) areas, is a sure recipe to poison the old well for all time, unless conditions are applied to prevent that from happening, such as the relocation of houses to preserve the existing unsullied ground water drainage.
Unfortunately, in the Conditions attaching to this Outline application, there is no mention of the old wells and that they supply water to a number of entities in Lime Park. That being the case, there is no scope for an appropriate condition where the Grant appears to be defective in that there is no such inclusion.
The NPPF is plain as to the need to protect historic assets as being irreplaceable. The Generating complex is not Nationally important at the moment, but could well become so in the future as other early
electricity generating sites are lost to development.
Section 12 of NPPF @ paragraphs 128 and 129 spells out what is required when considering a site that impacts on a heritage asset. In this case although the developer knew of the well from the photographs in their consultant’s report, no field evaluation took place prior to the Committee hearing this application. It may be therefore that their decision is ultra vires.
With reference to paragraph 135, where no mention was made of the wells and current
water supply, it would have been impossible for Wealden’s planning Committee to reach a balanced judgement as to the scale of loss of the working well in this location, once again invalidating the Grant of permission.
The Generating building is on a Monument Protection Programme along with
Kipling’s “Batemans” and
Station, of that the County Archaeologist is aware.
We are also concerned as to sustainability, where a development such as that proposed wipes out other sustainable units in depriving them of their historic water supplies.
We wonder if, in the circumstances described it might be appropriate for the
DCMS to take a look at how and why such an important consideration was overlooked by the local authority and the applicant’s heritage consultants.
It might be appropriate to mention that Wealden were found to have misled their planning Committee in a similar application for significant over development quantum at Berwick, High Court reference: CO/5983/2016. The case and presenting officer, Kelvin Williams, was the same for both applications, meaning that the same misdirection was likely. Please see the attached Order dated January 31 2017.
Please do not hesitate to ask for further clarification.
We look forward to hearing from you with any advice or observations at your earliest
for Herstmonceux Museum Ltd
WELL, WELL - Councils that are strapped for cash may be cutting
corners and granting consents where they would never have contemplated
doing so before and that is because they have been directed to build
huge numbers of houses where in the past they were only granting
consents in small numbers to keep control over who got the cream. Wealden
District Council are an example of a council that is known for corrupt
practices. Via a partnership with Sussex
police they were granted immunity to prosecution. Since 2015 they have been dishing out consents to developers
in the rush to generate additional rates and Community Infrastructure
Levy payments to make up for central Government cuts. This is regardless of the appropriateness of mass
developments around villages of character and charm and urban sprawl. In
the case of the proposed development above, this council is likely to become
complicit in poisoning a public
water supply from the only surviving well in Herstmonceux village in
Sussex, as per the board above protesting as to the impending ruination
of their water supply.
will this affect Wealden's future solvency against criminal prosecutions
for environmental offences and civil claims that are uninsurable? Nobody
can say. But this council will be leaving the builders and occupiers of
those homes built unlawfully to litigate for years to come as to selling
houses unfit for purpose - and the council may be vicariously liable for
failing to secure reasonable conditions.
the developers (Thakeham,
Group) admitted that they did not know that the well provided water
to the public. But said that this was the proposal that the council
wanted to see. Does that not smack of a done deal? Surely the committee
make that decision, but where a proposal is for up to seventy houses on
green belt, we would expect to see alternative scenarios with less
houses to mitigate any environmental damage.
grants from this council that were challenged in the High Court were
overturned by way of Judicial Review. These grants were by the same
planning officer and committees as the above application. A water level
management board has advised that the proposed surface water run off
solution is not sound and will lead to flooding at a point where a
sewage pump sub-station is to be located, potentially leading to foul
water pollution to add to the misery of slowly poisoning those drinking
from this well (they do not have a mains water
supply) and destroying a heritage asset in the process.
TO HISTORIC ENGLAND 03-10-18
Sir Laurie Magnus & Duncan Wilson OBE
Cannon Bridge House
25 Dowgate Hill
London EC4R 2YA
3 October 2018
REF: MONUMENT PROTECTION
HERSTMONCEUX, ELECTRICITY GENERATING STATION C.1909
We have been in correspondence with the Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP and please find enclosed copy of the reply on his behalf dated October 1 2018.
We’ve also been communicating with the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP in his capacity of Secretary of State for the Environment, copy of our letter dated September 24 2018 also attached, and please note that the Rt Hon
James Brokenshire MP is included as the Secretary of State for Communities and Housing in connection with the planning element of this matter.
The subject buildings were placed on a monument protection programme by English Heritage between 1999-2000 that we assume includes the old wells and other water features such as a medium sized underground water storage tank. We understand that regarding heritage issues and National Planning policies, that you are the statutory consultee.
The buildings have recently been treated and further repaired to ensure survival for another 100 years. It would be a pity if the last surviving well in the village were lost to a development that is unsustainable where they supply good quality water to the public in a world where conservation and sustainability are high on the
We would appreciate your advice as to potential additional protection measures to conserve this unique utility as being archaeologically important remains of man’s progression for the enjoyment of future generations, of which a fully functional well may be considered to be important in years to come as to the survival of the complex as a whole and complete installation.
Bearing in mind the advanced stage of the planning
process, your input may help the planners reach an informed decision where in 2015 they voted without having all the facts. For that reason could we beg a reply at your very earliest opportunity.
for Herstmonceux Museum Ltd
HERSTMONCEUX VILLAGE CONDITIONS A - Z INDEX
- NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK A - Z INDEX
May - Prime Mnister
Runnymede & Weybridge
Uxbridge & South Ruislip
Hastings & Rye
Haltemprice & Howden
Bowes Park Haringey
South West Surrey
Epsom & Ewell
South West Hertfordshire
Old Bexley & Sidcup
Vale of Glamorgan
Clydes & Tweeddale
MP South Northamptonshire
Kenilworth & Southam
South West Norfolk
CLIMATE - Michael Gove has been summoned to Brussels because of his
party's failure to meet air pollution targets despite warnings about
which the Prime
Minister was aware of.
United Kingdom has many political parties, some of which are
represented in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Below are links to the websites of the political parties that were
represented in the House of Commons after the 2015 General Election:
DEMOCRATIC AND LABOUR PARTY
Democratic and Labour Party
are concerned with how the make up of the above parties and (reasonably)
popular policies may affect the Wealden district, because we are all
brothers on two islands in the Atlantic
Ocean and what we do or fail to do is likely to rebound on ourselves
and our fellow man in other nations around the world. How we act today
influences policies in other countries in our global community. It is
not just about us and our patch.
& BOROUGH COUNCILS
Sussex has five District and Borough Councils, each with a border on
the coast. From west to east they are:
is also East
Sussex County Council as the provider of services to the 5 East
near neighbours and with councils now sharing facilities and working
together, these area of Sussex are included in our remit and an area
change and affordable
housing are issues that need urgent attention. Where the coastline
is a feature in every Council, Blue
Growth is a food
security issue, especially where this side of of our local economy