Date set for Bexhill development planning appeal

An appeal by developers behind proposals for a major housing scheme in Bexhill will be held this summer.

The action was launched after developers were refused planning permission by Rother District Council to build 160 new homes on land off Spindlewood Drive in Little Common in March last year.

Last October the council’s cabinet also agreed to set aside up to £150,000 to cover potential costs of a planning appeal related to the development.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Graham Stone, who launched Spindlewood Development Action Group (SPINDAG) to fight against the proposals, said a date for the appeal has been set for June 29 and is expected to last four days.

Campaigners from the SPINDAG group. Taken in February 2019. SUS-190214-113612001

He added: “SPINDAG has now decided upon its tactical approach and will be seeking an active role in the inquiry commencing with our attendance at the pre-inquiry conference planned for May. This is when the scope and details of the content of the inquiry will be established and agreed by all participating parties.

“Consequently, SPINDAG will be able to ensure that all the vitally important issues regarding the Habitats Regulations, the details required for an Appropriate Assessment and Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) are fully explored and debated to ensure that the Pevensey Levels are protected in perpetuity.”

While the site in Little Common had been allocated for development within the council’s local plan, the committee in March last year chose to refuse planning permission for the development on the grounds it was unclear whether the scheme could avoid an adverse impact to the Pevensey Levels special area of conservation.

These related to landscape and drainage concerns.

The decision by the council to reject the application was taken despite strong advice from the council’s planning officers, legal team and a representative of Natural England, who said conditions would prevent development moving ahead unless detailed mitigation measures could be approved.