Crowborough Community Association has hired a legal team to fight Wealden District Council’s decision to allow 68 houses and flats to be built on a car park next to the town’s Community Centre.
The decision to hire lawyers was unanimously agreed by the Community Centre’s Directors and Trustees at a meeting held on Monday (16th April). The Community Association are also arranging a Public Meeting on Wednesday 9th May to explain the necessity of the decision and to start a fund-raising scheme to cover the cost of a Judicial Review.
The CCA are concerned about the viability of the Community Centre with the loss of public car parking spaces. CCA chairman Chantal Wilson said:
To get the process moving as quickly as possible, we have agreed to dip into the Community Centre’s precious reserves but we hope to cover the cost of a legal action by appealing to the people of Crowborough who will be badly affected by the loss of public car parking and the consequent threat to the Community Centre. It is no exaggeration to say that this ill-considered decision by Wealden has put the very existence of the Community Centre at risk.
Dipping into our reserves is the last thing we wanted to do but we are left with no alternative. The first thing hirers ask is whether there is enough parking. We have to do all we can to maintain adjacent parking which is so crucial to our users. After many years of campaigning and fundraising the Crowborough Community Centre was opened in 2012. It cost £3.2 million, and was construct with money from Crowborough Town Council taxpayers and a grant from the National Lottery. It is located on Pine Grove on land donated by Wealden District Council, next to their former offices in Crowborough.
Recently councillors on the planning committee voted 5 to 4 to grant planning permission for Abbey Developments to build on the site owned by Wealden District Council and East Sussex County Council. In addition to losing the car park and woodland, the former Registration Office and social services offices will be demolished to make way for the development.
The public meeting on Wednesday 9th May will start at 7.30pm in the Community Centre.