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Hailsham livestock market relocation

***Update 23rd February 2023***

Our petition at closure reached an incredible 1087 signatures!

The trustees of Bushy Wood (Eastbourne District Scout Council), wish to extend their sincere thanks to everyone who signed the petition, it has been a truly amazing response by the community, viewing the comments many submitted has been a reminder of just how precious the centre is to our visitors and guests.

The petition has been submitted to Wealden District Council for their consideration as part of the planning process.

There have also now been over 600 submissions to Wealden directly, the majority of those are from our supporters objecting to the development, again an incredible response from so many people, the trustees are very grateful, well done everyone!


Please support us in signing our petition or objecting to the planning application for a livestock market to be built immediately adjacent to our site, we fear the impact of it could be devastating for us.

Our precious ancient woodland site has been a scout camp and activity centre for over 60 years, serving the needs of generations of young people in giving them adventurous outdoor learning experiences.

These fundamental outdoor experiences for young people are more important than ever in our modern fast-moving society, we are an essential and irreplaceable asset for delivering outdoor learning outcomes, providing a safe environment for that first night away from home camping, the thrill of cooking over wood fires, the unique joy of lying in a tent listening to a woodpecker knocking on a tree just outside. 

Recently we have grown the business side of our operation to ensure the future of the venue, now employing full-time staff, and being a keystone for the local tourism & leisure sector, the only low-cost, non-profit, residential centre for youth groups in the area, hosting young people from our local communities, as well as from all across the UK and beyond.

We have multiple concerns over the development proposal, the current outlook and character of our rural woodland will be lost forever, our young people will no longer be able to enjoy the natural setting of our woodland and instead will be loomed over by a massive agricultural building.

All year round, every week, our young people will have to endure the tranquil surroundings being disturbed by HGV movements, loading/unloading, commercial cleaning, operation of livestock auctions, to name just a few of the expected impacts.

A consequent loss of visitors and income will impact upon our own workforce and others that our operation supports, a loss of visitors to us also impacts upon the wide variety of leisure and retail businesses locally that are used by our visiting groups, and if we lose income from visiting groups our facilities will inevitably decline, and closure becomes a realistic possibility.

We have tried on several occasions in recent years to have a dialogue with SE Marts Ltd, the owners of the livestock market, but this application was submitted without any warning to us (or Knockhatch who are also seriously impacted), and we are very disappointed to have been almost entirely ghosted in the planning application, which barely acknowledges our existence or the obvious major impact upon us.

The full planning application can be viewed here;

How you can help!

If you are one of the many people who have visited and enjoyed Bushy Wood as a young person or adult (over the last 60 years!);

  • please help us by signing the petition below, which will be submitted to Wealden District Council

If you represent one of the organisations that use Bushy Wood;

  • please contact us for advice on how you can best help us

If you or your children are CURRENT visitors to Bushy Wood, who would of course be directly impacted by this development;

  • please sign the petition below, which will be submitted to Wealden District Council
  • If you feel able to, submit an objection to the planning application online at (you will need to accept the terms before the page opens, and submissions will be published on the planning database)
  • OR submit an objection email or letter to Wealden District Council planning by email, quoting reference WD/2022/2878/MAO – note your email/letter would be published on the planning database)

It is not helpful for us to template responses, please speak from your perspective when objecting, but please note that the planning committee can only consider certain issues, so please talk about how the development will impact upon you (or your children where relevant), Wealden District Council give examples as;

  • Design, visual appearance and materials
  • Overshadowing, loss of outlook (but not loss of view)
  • Noise and disturbance from use
  • Smells
  • Light pollution
  • Nature conservation and effect on protected species
  • Intrusion into the open countryside

**The closing date for objections is 24th February 2023**

Thanks for your help and support!


**This petition will close on the 19th February 2023**

Please sign our petition to support this statement;

“We the undersigned are, or have been, visitors and users of Bushy Wood, we object to the proposed livestock market development due to the following significant impacts on Bushy Wood;

  1. Loss of outlook with the replacement of greenfield abutting ancient woodland with a very large agricultural building, HGV access roads and HGV parking
  2. Noise and disturbance caused by HGV movements, animal livestock movements, commercial cleaning, storage of animals overnight in pens who may be distressed in unfamiliar surroundings, causing noise a short distance from young people camping
  3. Smells coming from the market when it is in use and when being cleaned, both from animals and industrial cleaning substances, again a short distance away from young people camping
  4. Light pollution caused by floodlighting systems casting light across the woodland, disturbing young people camping in tents, and the wildlife within the ancient woodland
  5. Intrusion into the open countryside area around the woodland, which is part of the landscape around the woodland, and once the open fields are lost it will forever change the character of the ancient woodland campsite.”