Thank you to all our members for your annual subscriptions of £5. It was a pleasure to meet you all whilst we were collecting your contributions and to hear personally about the issues that concern you. The subjects that were raised the most frequently during doorstep conversations were:
- Obstructions caused by parked cars between The Belfry and Turnberry Drive and down to the next build-out;
- The increasing need for a roundabout at the junction of Hempstead Lane and the A22;
- Grass verges that are in need of cutting;
- Trees and bushes that overhang the pavements and footpaths that are in need of attention;
- Street lighting issues;
- Drains that are in need of clearing.
All of these issues have been brought to the attention of the Town Clerk and to the attention of all those Councillors who represent our South and West ward. If you have any other issues please let us know using the form on the Contact Page of this website or any of the email addresses that appear in our Newsletters.
The issue of parking along Gleneagles Drive is by far the issue that concerns our members the most. In particular those cars that are parked on the corners of junctions, those that park too closely to the build-outs (chicanes) and those that impede dropped kerbs preventing those with disability scooters and pushchairs from crossing the road cause the most annoyance.
We believe that matters are in hand with ESCC Highways Department to relieve these issues by initially applying double yellow lines around the corners of all junctions along Gleneagles Drive as well as around the build-outs to prevent cars parking too closely to the chicanes. Once yellow lines have been applied we will be watching to ensure they are enforced. We have also written to the Town Clerk and to all our Councillors to ask what pressures can be applied to Chandlers to reduce the number of cars that park in Gleneagles Drive.
We have asked ESCC Highways Department to carry out a feasibility study regarding parking and other road safety issues but this requires a fee of £500 to be paid. Unfortunately a request for funds from Hailsham Town Council to facilitate this study was refused on the basis that it is not the Town Council’s responsibility to fund Highways work. We will continue to liaise with Highways both directly and through our County Councillor, Gerard Fox.
Roundabout on the A22 at the Junction with Hempstead Lane
There has been little progress on this subject, although it is apparent that the land that is to be developed at Park Road/New Road has been levelled. Bulldozers have been seen operating on this land but an enquiry to WDC Planning Department revealed that this was not the start of development, just an initial archaeological survey!
Before development can commence, the Developer has to inform Planning about his preference for building the roundabout on the A22, either by building it himself or paying for someone else to build it. At this point we should get some idea of timescale for when work on the roundabout may commence.
This roundabout is desperately needed to relieve the traffic pressure on Gleneagles Drive.
Gleneagles Road Signage
We are pleased to see that Highways has recently placed signs on lampposts either side of Dunbar Drive towarn of the presence of the school.
Community Speed Watch
Many of you will have noticed that we operate Speed Watch sessions now on Gleneagles Drive. We aim to have sessions several times each week and at different times of each day. However, our activities are limited by the number of volunteers that we have available and many of our volunteers also have jobs. If you are interested in joining our Community Speed Watch team please contact us via our Contact page.
Minutes of our AGM – 19 February 2017
Land Adjacent to the School
Planning permission was granted a long time ago on this parcel of land for the construction of 40 houses with access to the development from Dunbar Drive. The planning application was withdrawn earlier this year and a replacement application was entered for the construction of 40 houses but with access now from Gleneagles Drive, opposite Wentworth Close. At previous Residents’ Association meetings there have been some strong feelings expressed that some of this land should be used as a car park for people visiting the school for delivering or collecting their children. This would alleviate all the issues created by people having their drives blocked at peak school times and it would remove the hazards on Gleneagles Drive caused by parked cars. The Residents’ Association will object to the Planning Application seeking to have it amended so that the eventual builder will have to include car parking facilities for people visiting the school. This car park will need access from both Gleneagles Drive and from Dunbar Close to service vehicles arriving from either direction. We have until 25th November 2016 to raise our objections. If you also wish to object then please visit Wealden District Council’s website www.wealden.gov.uk and enter the planning application reference WD/2016/0348 in the Planning Section box then enter your objection online.
Roundabout on the A22 at the Junction with Hempstead Lane
As part of the outline planning permission for the land at Park Road & New Road development in north Hailsham (WD/13/0637), the Owner has covenanted in a legal agreement with Wealden District Council to construct the roundabout at the A22/Hempstead Lane junction or to pay a financial contribution of £706,000 to enable the construction of the roundabout. Prior to commencement of the development, the Owner has covenanted to confirm whether they intend to construct the roundabout or pay the financial contribution. If they decide to construct the roundabout, the Owner has covenanted that these works are completed prior to occupation of the 96th dwelling. If they decide to pay the contribution, then 20% is due prior to commencement of development and the remaining 80% due prior to occupation of the 50th dwelling. At present the developer only has an outline planning permission and they will need to submit a reserved matters application first which will then need to be approved by Wealden before development can commence. Until the reserved matters application is submitted and considered by Wealden it is difficult to give a definite timescale for the roundabout being delivered. This is further complicated by the Hailsham Area Action Plan (HAAP) and the requirement to build another 9,500 homes by 2037. It is possible that the A22 may be diverted to incorporate some of the new homes. If that is the case then it may well affect the construction of the roundabout that we have been pursuing. It is hoped that the HAAP plans will be known early in 2017. Roundabout on the A22 at the Junction with Hempstead Lane
Having a roundabout at this junction would undoubtedly relieve the traffic pressure on Gleneagles Drive and this is recognised in the Movement and Access Strategy for Hailsham and Hellingly (MASHH) document dated November 2012. This roundabout has been planned and funded for quite some time, however, other factors have now come into play that have prevented the roundabout from being built.
Gleneagles Road Signage
The Residents’ Association has been in contact with ESCC Highways Department to secure some new signage in an attempt to further calm the large volumes of traffic that use our estate. In particular we have requested the following:
Signs at each end of Gleneagles stating “No HGV Except for Access”. This request has been resolutely refused by the Highways Department as being unnecessary and impossible to police. We disagree and will continue to pursue this subject through our local councillors.
Illuminated SLOW/30 signs. These have also been refused although it has been suggested that we deploy Speed Indication Devices which would show a vehicle’s actual speed. We are following this up through Road Safety Officers. We are not allowed to have 30mph repeater signs on the carriageway as Gleneagles has street lighting. However, Highways can make temporary posters available to Hailsham Town Council for us to put up and we are following this up.
Double yellow lines at the junction of Gleneagles and Dunbar Drive. This has been refused by Highways as an adequate road safety case cannot be made. We have also fed into the Neighbourhood Planning Committee that it would be useful to have signs that warn School/Slow on the approaches to Dunbar Drive and to have a pedestrian crossing at the junction of Gleneagles and Dunbar Drive. We have yet to see what influence the Neighbourhood Planning Committee can wield.
We have conducted several surveys to count the number of vehicles that use Gleneagles Drive. The last survey was performed on 19th October 2016 and we counted the number of vehicles that passed the end of Pitreavie Drive over the period 8.00 am until 6.00 pm. The total number of vehicles amounted to 2,631 cars, 495 vans and 16 HGV. This was not a scientific study by any means, just an attempt to gauge the scale of the problem and we were very surprised by the volume of traffic observed. This information is being used to support our objectives for improving road safety.
Community Speed Watch
We have applied for registration for an approved speed watch campaign. Several members of the committee have undertaken online training successfully and we are now waiting for Sussex Police to confirm our scheme, provide practical equipment training and then to provide the necessary equipment on loan. We expect to have answers from the Police during November 2016 and we then hope to address the many comments we hear about excessive speeds on Gleneagles Drive.
Mobile Phone Mast
One of our residents has been concerned about the level of RF radiation emanating from the new O2 mast on the corner of Cameron Close. We have discussed this with an industry expert and this has resulted in a professional survey being carried out by an RF Site Compliance Manager on behalf of CTIL (Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd) on behalf of O2. The resultant measurements showed exposure levels were around 0.04% of the ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) guidelines. This confirms the mast is operating within regulatory limits, it is typical of other masts and may be considered as safe.
We have chased the Town Council to improve the drainage and clear the ditches in the areas that tend to flood during the winter. The council has undertaken an amount of work that they think should solve the problems but we remain unconvinced and we will be keeping a watch on this subject. It has been reported that drug taking and drug dealing activities occur frequently in the Country Park. We have brought this matter to the attention of the Police and the Town Council. Astonishingly the Town Clerk has decided that these are only rumours and the Police have responded to say they are unaware of the problem. If anyone should see evidence of drug taking/dealing in the park please report to the Police immediately using 101 or directly via the Sussex Police website
ESCC Highways Department has confirmed that Gleneagles Drive, Hailsham is on their Secondary Gritting Route. This means that it is only gritted when there are severe weather conditions, such as snow has already fallen. When they do grit any of their routes, a message will be sent out via their Social Media sites on the day. Please also be aware that you can check this information for all roads in East Sussex by visiting their website: www.eastsussexhighways.com