Rotherfield housing development turned down

Proposals for a housing development near Rotherfield have been refused by Wealden planners. 

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 4:48 pm

On Thursday (June 24), Wealden District Council’s planning committee north refused an outline application to build six houses off of Catt’s Hill.

The scheme was turned down on the grounds the site fell within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), outside of Rotherfield’s development boundary and was not considered to be in a sustainable location.

This decision went against the advice of officers, who had warned that the council’s aged local plan and lack of a five-year supply of housing land weighed in favour of approval.

Proposed site layout
Proposed site layout

As a result, officers said, the proposals should be considered favourably unless the adverse impacts of development “significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

Officers also did not consider that the proposals would have a negative impact on the AONB and had argued it was in a sustainable location.

This argument had some support from committee members too, who argued the site was not inappropriate for further development considering its proximity to other housing.

However, when put to the vote a motion to approve the scheme was defeated and the refusal agreed. Both decisions came down to a casting vote from committee chairman Johanna Howell. 

For further details see application reference WD/2020/1691/O on the Wealden District Council website.