Plans to build more than 500 homes near BBC presenter's £1.5m house provokes planning dispute

BBC political commentator David Dimbleby has accused Wealden council of 'vandalism' of the countryside, following plans to build up to 520 homes near his East Sussex home, the Telegraph reports.

A planning application has been submitted to build the homes on a site less than a mile from the Question Time presenter's home near the South Downs. Dimbleby has written an angry letter opposing the development to the local council, stating that, if the scheme is built, they would be 'responsible for an act of devastation'. The development will include over 150 affordable homes and a school.

Pelham Holdings, the scheme's developer, has rejected the presenter's views, branding them 'extreme'. The firm's planning consultant, Jenny Owen, said: 'Our view is that the need for the development outweighs any of the arguments he has put.'

A decision on the planning application is expected to be announced next year.