Planning for Teasley Mead
The story of the building of Teasley Mead estate is far from complete – the first
reference is to building just six houses and that later falls to four – and we
would welcome any more information or photographs so we can complete the
picture on what was a major change to the Blackham landscape.
The first mention of a plan came in small piece in the Kent and Sussex Courier
on 22 February 1946 which read: ‘Housing was discussed at a meeting in the
Village Hall on Friday, presided over by the Rev A Miles. Dr Wharton and Mr
Stiff spoke on the merits of the alternative building sites and answered
questions on the amenities of the proposed six council houses.’
That meeting is referred to a week later in a report of Uckfield Rural District
Council which says that clerk reported to the council that ‘the Ministry had
agreed to the original site at Willetts Lane, Blackham, for houses and he
mentioned that at a public meeting at Blackham the representatives on the RDC,
Mr Stiff and Dr Wharton, had addressed a meeting of ratepayers and no doubt
the result of the meeting had a bearing on the Minister’s decision.’
The scheme was part of a major building programme being undertaken by the
council which Mr Coulthard, chairman of the Housing Committee, explained
consisted of 134 houses ‘of the permanent brick-built type in 11 parishes.’ That
would be followed by a further programme of 48 houses to be carried out in
January- March 1947, which would include four in Blackham.
Referring to the fact that the estimated needs of the agricultural population in the district was 174 houses, he was asked whether this would form any part of the
council’s programme and Mr J R Coulthard replied that some of the houses would be used by agricultural workers.
There were concerns though that there might be a shortage of bricks.
Uckfield RDC surveyor, Mr T Burdett, told the council that a number of
brickmaking firms were not working and others were doing only a small
percentage of their normal output, due to labour difficulties as men were
still waiting to be demobbed from the services after the war.
‘As a result of this the council reserved 250,000 facing bricks and 50,000
general purpose bricks with a Danehill firm, 750,000 tiles and fittings
from Horam and 250,000 from an Uckfield firm.’
The next we hear of the Blackham plan is on 4 October 1946 when the
council is informed that the valuer is having problems negotiating a deal
to purchase the land and so it has been decided to issue a compulsory
purchase order, notice of which appeared in the newspaper two weeks