Concerns raised over Plumpton housing plans

Application site for 20 homes in Plumpton
Application site for 20 homes in Plumpton

Controversial proposals to build housing in Plumpton are set to go before Lewes planners next week.

In an application submitted to Lewes District Council, developers are seeking outline planning permission for a 20-home development on land at Riddens Lane in Plumpton.

However the application has met with a number of objections from residents due to concerns around flooding and the number of houses proposed.

Many of the objections put forward by residents are based on the policies laid out in Plumpton’s neighbourhood plan – a document intended to guide where and how development takes place within the village.

While the Riddens Lane land is included in the neighbourhood plan, it had originally only been identified as a site for up to 16 residential units.

Objectors say the increased number puts the application at odds with the plan’s policies, making the proposals unacceptable.

These concerns were also raised by Plumpton Parish Council in its response to the application.

A statement from the parish council  said: “The planning committee supports in principle the 16-unit scheme on the basis of its inclusion in the made Plumpton Parish Neighbourhood Plan.

“However, the current application does not accord with the proposed development supplied by the applicant during the Neighbourhood Plan public consultation process in two material aspects:

“Contrary to what is stated in the design statement, a small part of the development is located in flood zone 2, in violation of Policy 5.2 of the made Plumpton Parish Neighbourhood plan.

“The ‘developed’ site has been extended to provide larger gardens for the new dwellings, requiring diversion of the footpath that previously had been stated as being retained and enhanced. This takes the area of development outside that designated in the ‘made’ plan.”

However, Lewes planning officers said the scheme had since been amended to overcome these concerns.

Planning officers also support the higher number of houses, as it would increase the number of affordable housing units on the site.

In a report to the committee, a Lewes planning officer said: “The benefits of the scheme includes provision of affordable housing and a higher proportion of smaller units, as well as locating all new dwellings within Flood Zone 1 and incorporating improvements to Riddens Lane, as per the Neighbourhood Plan policy.

“The applicant has also demonstrated that this number of units can be accommodated within the site without affecting the route of the public footpath or the established planting around the edge of the application site.

“In view of this it is considered that the proposals are in broad conformity with the policy allocation and the benefits brought about by the scheme are considered to be acceptable in principle.”

As a result, planning officers are recommending the application be approved subject to a legal agreement with developers.

The proposals are set to be considered by the committee at a meeting on Wednesday, April 24.