Upset over plans for seven ‘chalets’

West Close, Polegate. Photo courtesy of Google Maps Street View. SUS-150821-123043001
West Close, Polegate. Photo courtesy of Google Maps Street View. SUS-150821-123043001

Plans for the construction of seven chalet bungalows and an access road in Polegate is causing upset among local residents.

A previous planning application for five chalet bungalows in West Close was approved way back in 1999 but in June of this year, a renewed application for more chalet bungalows and a road was submitted to Wealden District Council’s planning committee.

However, the application has not been welcomed by local residents for numerous reasons, including the fact that two cess pits would have to be included in the site as there is no more capacity in the existing sewerage system.

A number of trees would have to be felled to make room for the development, which many say includes properties more akin to houses than chalet bungalows.

Concerns were also raised about the increase in traffic to the cul-de-sac and who would be responsible for the upkeep of the proposed access road. The developer planned to construct the road but if East Sussex County Council didn’t adopt it, the houses in the development would be responsible for the upkeep.

Polegate Town Council’s response to the application stated: “It was resolved to submit objections on the application on the grounds of it being over-development, with concerns also for the responsibility of the construction and adoption of the proposed access road and concerns over the sewerage facilities and ability for the sewerage system to cope.”

A housing development officer from Wealden District Council said: “The Affordable Housing Delivery Local Plan 2015 states new housing developments will be expected to provide a mix of dwelling size, type and tenure that meet the identified housing needs of the community and must make the most effective use of the land, taking into account the character of the local area.

“I would comment that market housing of such large detached units as those proposed here would not meet the mixed need of the local area and do not reflect the character of the local area.

“Previous surveys have indicated that Wealden has more than the national average number of four-bedroom detached properties.”

Southern Water’s response to the application stated: “Our initial investigations indicate there are no public surface water sewers in the area to serve this development. The applicant is advised to consult the Environment Agency directly regarding the use of a cess pit. The owner of the premises will need to empty and maintain the cess pit to ensure its long-term effectiveness.”

The Environment Agency have no objections to the plan.

Residents’ comments on the application include:

“Seven four-bedroom dwellings has potential for a large increase in traffic in West Close. Will the extra parking required be possible on the plot assuming each dwelling has a single garage, or will parked cars be scattered along West Close to the detriment of original residents?”

“The proposed buildings are completely out of character with existing properties,being much taller and larger, and I worry they will devalue the area.”

“I am unhappy about the shocking, uneven condition of the path surface left from the previous development in West Close. It is a dangerous crossing.”

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