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 later (left).
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