More new homes proposed for Ridgewood

Proposal for new houses behinf Cysleys Farm, Ridgewood. SUS-151108-234157008
Proposal for new houses behinf Cysleys Farm, Ridgewood. SUS-151108-234157008

Uckfield could be expected to absorb yet another 100 new homes.

Developers Gladman have lodged a proposal with Wealden District Council to build 100 new homes on farmland behind Ridgewood Industrial Park. They are asking whether an environmental assessment would need to be included with a planning application.

The scheme outlined by the Cheshire-based developer includes outline planning consent for up to 100 homes (including 35 per cent affordable,) planting, landscaping, open space, children’s play area, surface water flood mitigation and access for vehicles from Buttons Lane, Eastbourne Road.

Documents submitted by developers say in their opinion the development is not the type likely to have ‘significant environmental effects’ and their definition of ‘sensitive area’ in planning terms indicates it is not relevant to this site. The homes, they point out, would deliver high levels of energy efficiency according with building regulations and the Local Plan. They add the scheme would be similar to nearby housing and would not have any complex, hazardous or significant environmental effect or detrimental impact on Grade II listed Cysley’s Farmhouse because there are trees and hedges between.

Homes would be on land almost three kilometres from the Buxted Park SSSI site. It is also just over seven kilometres south of the Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area although this will have to be reconsidered in the light of the council’s 15 kilometre screening area.

Gladman points out that given the scale of the development, the impact in terms of traffic, transport and highways ‘is not considered significant.’ Their approach to Wealden clearly states a review of the site and location indicates chances of significant effects arising on this site itself are minimal.

They also say it is not of a scale or nature that would create extra noise or vibration during building with restricted working hours and proper maintenance of plant and machinery.

But the scheme is bound to draw a reaction from Ridgewood residents, many of whom opposed the 1,000 homes scheme already approved on land to the south west of the town. They feel the community is being forced to absorb more than its fair share of new housing and any proposed development should be sited elsewhere.

As a footnote to the letter, Gladman planner Helen Ball asks the council: ‘When replying, I would be grateful if you would confirm that you have the necessary authority to do so on behalf of the council.’

Objectors fear the scheme is part of ‘development creep.’

Mel Sanders from New Town said: “There are the 120 houses on Harlands Farm to come, plus the 1000 south west of the town.

So we would have homes south east, south and south west. It won’t be long before they start looking north and then Uckfield will just be a high street surrounded by housing estates.”

He said although Uckfield people have objected strongly to this and other schemes, they feel powerless and say their views are not taken into account when these decisions are made.

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