Plans to extend landfilling operations at a site north of Crowborough have been refused by the county council.
Part of the estate at Stone House Farm, in Pilmer Road, already has permission to infill land, but separate retrospective permission was sought to extend these operations to part of the site affected by slippage.
However East Sussex County Council’s planning committee rejected proposals on Wednesday due to their effect on both the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and potential archaeological remains.
But local member Francis Whetstone (Con, Forest Row) said: “I think on the whole it would be a tidying up rather than spoiling of the AONB.”
He explained that the site was a ‘remarkably secluded area’ and the only way properties in Boarshead could see it would be to stand on ladders or use cherry pickers.
But Kathyrn Field (LDem, Battle and Crowhurst) said if the end use was grazing horses the applicant should not be using hard core and rubble to infill the land, while Jim Sheppard (Con, Chailey) felt they were using the ‘wrong materials for the job’.
Godfrey Daniel (Lab, Hastings - Braybrooke and Castle), chair of the committee, added: “I think the AONB is very important and we have to take any impact on it as seriously as the designation permits.”
Officers explained that the National Planning Policy Framework said that great weight should be given to conserving the landscape and the scenic beauty of the AONB, rather than the impact on residential properties in this case.
The previous application had been permitted because the site was very small and defined, while the proposed infill material was confined to soils and that the drainage works were meant to prevent further slippages.
The planning officer added: “These drainage works were to provide for better drainage facilities in the field but it’s clear they have not worked.”
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