Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Monday, 29 December 2008

Dimbleby attacks rural homes plan

David Dimbleby
Mr Dimbleby said the development would be vandalism

Veteran broadcaster and journalist David Dimbleby has criticised plans to build more than 500 homes on the edge of the South Downs in Sussex.

Pelham Holdings wants to construct 520 houses, a school, shop and doctors' surgery on rural land in Polegate.

Mr Dimbleby, of Folkington, near Eastbourne, said in a letter to Wealden District Council that the scheme would destroy centuries of fine countryside.

Pelham Holdings said the need for the development outweighed his arguments.

More than 100 residents have written to the authority to object to the developer's plans.

We have assessed the issues that Mr Dimbleby has highlighted in his letter and our view is that the need for the development outweighs any of the arguments he has put
Pelham Holdings

In his letter, the 70-year-old chairman of the BBC's Question Time programme said: "It cannot be too strongly stressed that this is an area of outstanding natural beauty alongside which the proposed three storey or even two or one storey houses would be vandalism.

"As you know most of the area is about to be declared a National Park.

"While technically speaking the development is just outside the proposed boundary of the park, it is so close to it that it will inevitably damage it.

"Go to the top of Folkington Hill and look down with Pelham's proposals in your hand and you will see what I mean."

Mr Dimbleby added: "If you grant the application, you will be responsible for an act of devastation.

"Centuries of fine countryside enjoyed by thousands each year, among them many who come by train to Polegate to walk on the Downs, will be destroyed at a stroke. Please resist."

Jennifer Owen, planning consultant for the developer, said: "In the view of Pelham Holdings, planning permission should be granted.

"We have assessed the issues that Mr Dimbleby has highlighted in his letter and our view is that the need for the development outweighs any of the arguments he has put."

Wealden council is due to make a decision about Peham Holdings' planning application in early 2009.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
South Downs park inquiry reopens
25 Oct 07 |  England

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific