“Dismayed” villagers have relaunched their campaign against plans for 70 homes on a greenfield site as developers have appealed against the council’s decision.

Many residents of Barcombe, near Lewes, are coming together to oppose the appeal, by Gladman Developments, for their proposals to build homes on a field to the west of Barcombe Mills Road.

The initial application to build 70 homes (40 per cent of which would be classed affordable), public open space, landscaping and drainage systems was refused by Lewes District Council.

Now, with the public enquiry by the planning inspectorate set to take place on November 14, campaigners against the plans are coming together once again.

The site - locally known as the “Blackcurrant Field’ - so named for its connection with Ribena - is an actively farmed field and has been so for generations.

The Argus: Barcombe Says No campaigners at the site

Nearby resident and one of the campaign organisers Andrew Chapman said: "We welcomed Lewes District Council’s original rejection of this proposal and it’s more than disappointing to have to revisit it.

"We need the government to defend rural communities like ours from ruthless, opportunistic development. Not only are we defending prime farmland needed for food production but we’re fighting to protect a precious rural landscape - we know that this development won’t stop at 70 homes should it get the green light.

"Our wildlife and our natural landscape can’t speak for itself. We have to stand up for it.”

Fellow campaigner Louise Alexander said: "Barcombe is a comparatively small village that already suffers infrastructure issues. We have a largely non-existent public transport connection and access to the proposed site is regularly inaccessible due to flooding in the autumn and winter months.

“Our school, water services, energy services and roads are stretched beyond limit in our area, we should not be adding to these problems. This proposal would increase the size of our village beyond measure. Once again, our local community finds itself pulling together to reiterate how completely insensitive and inappropriate these plans are.”

The appeal public hearing takes place at Barcombe Village Hall on Tuesday, November 14, at 10am.

Lewes District Council was contacted but was unable to make a comment in light of the appeal hearing.

Gladman Developments was contacted for comment.