Plans for 195 homes estate at Hailsham

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AN estate of 195 homes with a GP surgery could extend Hailsham to the south at Oaklands, Ersham Road, Hailsham.

Outline plans have been submitted to Wealden District Council for the site, which is outside the housing zone in the council’s proposed core strategy.

Applicant Masma Limited, based in St Albans, wants to build 36 two bedroom, 70 three bedroom and 20 four-plus bedroom market homes.

It would also provide 30 two bedroom and 20 three bedroom houses for social rent, along with ten two bedroom flats.

The remaining units would be nine two bedroom ‘intermediate housing’ and there would be 360 parking spaces and storage for 390 cycles.

Each house would have its own cycle storage, either in garages or sheds or communal facilities.

A statement with the application said the council’s core strategy policies could only be given ‘very limited weight’ as the planning inspector’s findings from a hearing in January were still awaited.

The South East Plan could also be given ‘little weight’ ‘given the Localism Agenda and its expected and impending revocation in 2012’.

“The proposed development would meet a recognised urgent and growing need for housing in the Wealden south coastal housing area,” the statement said.

It would be an ‘urban extension’ to Hailsham – ‘an established and preferred method of accommodating housing growth as established in the draft core strategy and non-statutory local plan’.

The ‘sole barrier’ to more development in the area, the statement said, was lack of capacity in the water treatment plant but there was ‘adequate capacity’ at South Hailsham Water Treatment Plant.

Hailsham had all the facilities for the day-to-day needs of the new residents in close proximity, from employment to transport and shops.

In an accessible location, facilities could be reached by foot, cycle, bus and train.

The development would improve connections to the footpath network.

The main north to south cycle route for East Sussex - the Cuckoo Trail - passes the site.

The bus stop at the junction of Ersham Road and Coldthorn Lane would also be upgraded.

The closest doctors’ surgery was Bridgeside Clinic, Western Road, which was 1.2km away.

“Whilst not oversubsribed, there is pressure on doctors’ facilities within the town due to the closure of a number of surgeries,” the statement said.

Comment at www.planning.wealden.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=118557