Decision due on 55-home development near Hailsham

Proposals for a major housing development on the outskirts of Lower Horsebridge are set to go before Wealden planners next week. 

On Thursday (March 24), Wealden District Council’s planning committee south are set to consider an application seeking outline permission to build up to 55 homes on greenfield land west of North Street.

The application as originally submitted was for up to 67 dwellings, but this number was reduced after officers raised concerns about whether they would fit on the site.

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As a result of these concerns, the applicant agreed to reduce the upper figure to 55 homes, of which 35 per cent would be affordable.

Lower Horsebridge application site edged in red

This reduction in numbers saw Hellingly Parish Council move from an objection to supporting the scheme, on the condition that open spaces and equipped play areas are passed into its ownership after completion of the development.

However, the reduction was not enough for all local residents with a small number of objectors (eight according to meeting papers) calling on the council to refuse planning permission. 

These objectors argue the reduction in numbers is not enough to prevent the site from becoming overdeveloped and say the scheme would put further pressure on the area’s infrastructure.

Objectors have also criticised the loss of a greenfield site and argue it would damage the environment and character of the area.

However, the application has been recommended for approval by planning officers. This is partly because the council lacks a five-year supply of housing land, meaning there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development in national planning rules.

In a report to be considered by the committee, a council planning officer said: “There are no adverse impacts of the development that would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the development proposal.

“Therefore the presumption in favour of sustainable development is applicable.”

For further details of the proposals see application reference WD/2021/2056/MAO on the Wealden District Council website.

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