New homes in Crowborough given thumbs up

editorial image

Amended proposals for a housing development in Crowborough have been approved, following what Wealden planners described as ‘improvements’.

On Thursday (July 25), Wealden District Council’s planning committee north considered a reserved matters application to build nine homes at the Sandygate site in Blackness Road. 

The meeting marked the second time the application came before the committee, with previous proposals being deferred in May after planners asked for a ‘comprehensive redesign’ due to concerns about the layout of the site.

Planners were particularly concerned around the location of one of the properties as originally proposed due to its proximity to neighbours, but felt the amended proposals had overcome this issue.

Cllr Helen Firth (Con, Uckfield New Town) said: “The developer has done what this committee requested of him.

“Personally I can’t see an issue with this. I think once this building is there, people will realise it won’t be quite as imposing as they thought it would be.

“The houses themselves are well-designed and I would certainly 100 per cent approve of these.

“I don’t really think we have got much option. The developer has done what we have asked and there are no reasons that I can find to refuse this.”

Before making its decision, the committee heard representations from neighbour Elizabeth Shepherd and the applicant Julian Walker.

Speaking against the proposals, Mrs Shepherd said: “I’m not an unreasonable person, I can often see things from another person’s perspective but I also expect them to consider things from my perspective and, in this case, that of my neighbours.

“This does not seem to be happening.

“Our objections relate to the one-sided inconsiderate plans for this site and also a lack of consideration of the wider perspective.

“These development plans should not be viewed in isolation. Our property stands between [this] development and the Rockington Nursery development and the boundaries meet between our two gardens.

“We will be an island between 42 new homes.”

Ms Shepherd added that she had concerns around the potential ecological impact of the development and the loss of privacy from the new development.

Mr Walker, however, argued the ecological considerations had been approved at the outline stage as had the access matters.

He added that the scheme differed from the original indicative designs as it was not considered these would be acceptable due to issues with access for large vehicles.

Mr Walker said: “We have tried hard in redesigning this scheme and I hope that members find it is an improvement and acceptable.”

The view was shared by the committee which approved the application.