Plans for new Westham homes turned down

Members of the EWestham Conservation Group SUS-140309-160254001
Members of the EWestham Conservation Group SUS-140309-160254001

Plans to build 18 new homes in Westham have been turned down.

Trinity Homes outlined plans for the project on Peelings Lane at a meeting in the village hall in January after applying for planning permission from Wealden District Council.

A hearing between developers and the Wealden Planning Committee will took place on Thursday (September 18).

Planners turned down the proposals because they felt it would be an ‘inappropriate intrusion on the landscape’. There were also issues with drainage at the site.

Nick Daines, chairman of the Westham Conservation Group, was against the plans to build on the greenfield site.

He told the Gazette he believed there was already ample affordable homes in the area.

Mr Daines said, “We understand that 28 families in the village require such accommodation and this need will be met by already-planned developments.

“Some 650 homes, 200 of which will be affordable, are to be built a few hundred yards from Westham village centre.

“We feel the village is being over-developed.”

Mr Daines said he was worried the decision had already been made before the meeting but was pleased when planners turned the proposals down.

The local Friends of the Earth group also had concerns.

Andrew Durling from the group said, “The lane has many mature trees and hedgerows teeming with wildlife and wildflowers along most of its length.

“Yet the new houses will destroy a significant amount of the natural and historic heritage of the lane, which residents and tourists alike appreciate greatly.”

He spoke before the decision by the council and said, “If ‘The Herons’ is granted permission, then the whole of the country edge on the north side of Peelings Lane is at risk of disappearing, effectively ruining the last country lane left in the village, damaging its rural character.”