Heathfield shopping parade could be redeveloped

Plans to redevelop a shopping parade in Heathfield are set to go before Wealden planners next week. 

What the redeveloped shopping parade in Heathfield could look like
What the redeveloped shopping parade in Heathfield could look like

On Wednesday (January 12), Wealden District Council’s planning committee north is due to consider an outline application to redevelop a row of shops at 14 to 30 High Street. 

The redeveloped site would also have new retail space but also include housing, with up to ten flats proposed. 

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In documents submitted as part of the application, a spokesman for the applicant said: “The existing shops are generally in need of considerable refurbishment and the raised parking area to the rear offers no direct link to the shops and is therefore largely unused by shoppers in the area. 

The existing shopping parade

“Many of the surrounding sites have been redeveloped in recent years, mainly for residential use which offer opportunities for smart new business premises to cater for the needs of those new residents.”

As an outline proposal, details of the design would require further planning permission at a later stage. However, in illustrative designs the developers have set out proposals to create a new horseshoe shaped building, with flats above a new parade of shops.

These illustrative designs also show a three-storey building, although developers have also described plans for a two-and-a-half-storey design. Council planners say the final scale, mass and appearance of the building would be decided at a later stage, however. 

Even so, a number of concerns around the potential design have been raised by objectors, including Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council, which argues the design would be an overdevelopment of the site.

The parish council (and other local objectors) have also raised concerns about the parking and highway impacts of housing, as well as fears that the access arrangements would be unsatisfactory. 

Despite concerns, the proposals are recommended for approval by council planning officers on the grounds it would accord with local planning policies and be a ‘sustainable’ development.

For further information on the proposals see application reference WD/2018/1083/MAO on the Wealden District Council website.