‘Save our meadow’: villagers’ call to keep housing off wildflower haven

'Save our meadow'. Coldwaltham residents are calling for a housing site on a wildflower meadow to be dropped. Photo by Graham Franks
'Save our meadow'. Coldwaltham residents are calling for a housing site on a wildflower meadow to be dropped. Photo by Graham Franks
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Villagers are campaigning to stop a proposal for housing on a much-loved wildflower meadow.

Twenty homes were originally planned for land at Brookland Way, Coldwaltham, but in April the allocated site was moved to the neighbouring meadow and doubled in size.

The South Downs National Park Authority has said the Local Plan document will be consulted on in the autumn but residents are anxious to make their voices heard ahead of Tuesday’s planning committee, which is due to discuss the draft.

Resident Jim Glover said the meadow was thought to have been untouched for 30 years.

He said: “It’s a beautiful site, it’s near to a sensitive area and it just doesn’t fit in with the criteria for a national park.

“They’re supposed to protect the countryside, not destroy it.”

The Sussex Wildlife Trust, which runs the adjacent Waltham Brooks reserve, has raised concerns as to the meadow’s biodiversity value.

An SNDPA spokesman said the plan was going through ‘a number of drafts’ and comments would be ‘welcome’ in the final public consultation: “The site previously identified for Coldwaltham at the preferred options draft has since been found to be of concern as it would have a negative impact on nearby nationally designated land for nature conservation.

“As a result an alternative site has been identified at the pre-submission draft that is both further from the conservation sites and the local sewage works.”