An outline application for land at Old Marshfoot Farm was supported by Wealden District Council’s planning committee south all the way back in December 2018.
Since then Wealden’s draft local plan has had to be withdrawn after an inspector found it unsound.
This means conditions attached to the granting of planning permission which related to the local plan have to be removed.
One of these conditions restricted the number of new homes on the site to 238, but its removal means up to 300 can be built.
A decision on the changes was originally deferred by the committee in January so officers could see if the developers would improve the poor standard of surface of Marshfoot Lane and to receive extra information about traffic surveys and modelling.
When the plans came back to committee today (Thursday May 28), they were approved by eight votes to two with two abstentions.
Paul Carnell, agent for the scheme, explained how the developer had agreed to a number of improvements to Marshfoot Lane and the footpath and they hoped these would encourage cycling and walking to and from the site.
When councillors asked if these could be carried out prior to construction, officers suggested requiring this would not be appropriate.
Neil Cleaver (LDem, Hailsham North West) suggested Mill Road would not be able to cope with the influx of more vehicles, adding: “Hailsham does need a ring road. Will we get a ring road?”
In a written submission, Gavin Blake-Coggins (LDem, Hailsham East) said: “Before any further houses are agreed for Hailsham infrastructure must be improved and developed to support current housing planned.
“In the event the town centre is redeveloped appropriate thought needs to go to retail services to support a marked increase in the population of this town. It is the largest town in Wealden and the one with least infrastructure.
“We do not live in a world of supermarionation. People and individuals are not operated by pulling strings.”
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