New homes plan for Heathfield gets thumbs up from council

L1334020 SUS-141103-163619001
L1334020 SUS-141103-163619001

A scheme to demolish three houses and build 115 new homes on land at the back of Heathfield’s police station was given planning permission on February 26.

This follows consent granted at a Wealden meeting last September 26 which was subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement - a tax on new homes which aims to upgrade or provide infrastructure.

This agreement was completed on February 24 and requires the developer to improve rights of way, secure outdoor leisure space, look after the Millennium Green, provide real-time bus information and a shelter and a right turn lane onto the A265.

Because the site was partly in the AONB, applicants Summertree Estates tried to find alternative sites for homes but none was suitable. Summertree says the site is close to shops and services, transport links and countryside and addresses an identified shortage of affordable homes in the parish. Parish councillors welcomed the application and support affordable housing.

But 24 letters of objection were received citing potential traffic congestion, impact on wildlife, inadequate capacity at schools and surgeries and a detrimental impact on the character of the AONB.

Fears the scheme would ‘expand’ onto neighbouring land were quashed by Summertree. Partner Neil Harper said: “We have no intention to extend the site to the west and are not in communication with any adjacent landowners to this effect.”