Rag 'n' Bone man praises 'awesome' villagers fighting back against 'bully' housing developer after he threatened to move

RAG 'n' Bone man has thanked his “awesome” village after nearly 200 logged complaints about a huge housing development, which could result in the singer quitting the countryside for good.

The Sun revealed the 36-year-old hitmaker urged residents on a Facebook community page in Heathfield, East Sussex, to object to a developer, whom he accused of “using bully tactics” to buy his £1 million four-bedroom home. 



The star, real name Rory Graham, wrote: “Whitehall Homes Ltd want to build 34 houses on the land behind us.

"They’ve spent the last year using bully tactics to try and acquire my property.

“Cutting down 50 plus trees and destroying wildlife. I don’t want to leave the area, but if the planning goes ahead, I’ll have to move.

“I don’t want money, I want a place for my son to grow up.”

Since that post, 176 residents have complained to Wealden District Council about the proposal – and commended his call to action with locals begging him to stay. 

Berty Jones posted: "Rory, we don't want to see you go, love having you as a neighbour. Shame on you Wealden."

Rory explained on Facebook that “my barn flooded twice recently – after they cut down all the trees’. 

Locals asked if he couldn’t buy the land himself to “replant some trees”, but Rory responded: “I wish I could, they already own the land.”

In the social media chat, he then thanked the community saying: "Thank you so much for the kind words and support! You lot are awesome."

The parish council, Sussex police, Southern Water, and Wealden District Council’s conservation and design group have all expressed reservations about the project. 

Angry locals hit out in their complaints, logged on the council website, with Isabelle Grimed saying: "Literally EVERYONE is begging councils to stop building in green fields! There are so many other sites? Stop killing our beautiful area and wildlife!"

Kristina Springall added: "I understand the need for more homes but this is destroying our beautiful countryside. It is killing wildlife by making them leave their homes. Please do not build on this land and leave it for nature."

Shelley Woodhams called for the project to be rejected for “green” reasons, writing: "Save our beautiful country town with its amazing wildlife – and save the planet at the same time. No more houses in Heathfield.Think of the planet. Not the profit."

S McKay raged: "Soon Wealden will be an urban jungle unable to cope with the number of residents and with a dreadful lack of facilities and no proper infrastructure. This has to stop."

Jon Sims called it "yet again a greedy organisation [who] wants to build on countryside… its ridiculous!"

"It’s a bit of a dinosaur mentality at a time when we should be preserving our precious environment. All in all I can see no positive benefit for the community, only financial greed on the part of the developer,” says Sheila Morrison.

Rosabel Oliver wrote: "It’s a countryside not a city so stop trying to turn it into something it’s not. You’re cutting down multiple trees, have you not heard of something called global warming? Where are all the wildlife going to go? It’s not “affordable” as you call it, how do you expect our younger generation to pay/ get a deposit for it?”

Whitehall Homes said: “Whitehall Homes has made a considerable effort to provide a housing development that caters for the local community and recognised local housing shortage.

"Our proposals takes due consideration and care for ecology in order to provide an environmentally friendly development that we are proud of.

The location of the development will cause minimal inconvenience toward the greater community and boasts a truly outstanding location for future private occupiers.

"The development will also make a contribution toward the local affordable housing deficit and will make significant funding contributions toward the local and wider community.”

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