Stone Cross housing plans refused in summer to be reconsidered

Wealden planners are set to reconsider controversial plans for a housing development in Stone Cross, despite a previous decision to refuse the scheme. 

Campaign against building 400 houses on Sharnfold, Stone Cross, pictured late last year
Campaign against building 400 houses on Sharnfold, Stone Cross, pictured late last year

On Thursday (November 4), Wealden District Council’s planning committee south is set to again discuss proposals for a 31-home development at Sharnfold Farm, off of Hailsham Road.

The application was previously considered at a meeting in June, during which the committee also considered proposals to convert agricultural buildings on a different part of the site into a new business centre. The housing scheme was refused, but the business centre proposals were approved.

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The day after the meeting, however, two agricultural buildings at the heart of the site were named as Grade II listed properties by Historic England.

Proposed layout of the new homes at Sharnfold Farm

Council officers said this meant both schemes should be reconsidered in light of the new circumstances, as not doing so could leave the decision open to legal challenge. 

Even so, officers are still recommending the housing application be approved as “it would be possible to accommodate the quantum of development without harm to the significance of the listed buildings through development within their setting”.

The business centre scheme is not set to be considered at this meeting. 

Notably, the proposals had also been included as an element of a wider 400-home scheme, for which developers had sought a screening opinion last year.

For further information on the housing proposals see application reference WD/2020/2047/MAO on the Wealden District Council website. For details of the business centre see reference WD/2020/1994/MAJ and for the screening opinion see application reference WD/2020/6505/SO.

Huw Oxburgh , Local Democracy Reporting Service