Uckfield housing development is approved

Layout of the seven new homes
Layout of the seven new homes

Proposals for a housing development in Uckfield have been approved by Wealden planners.

On Thursday (April 4), Wealden District Council’s planning committee north granted full planning permission to build seven houses on land adjoining 22 Keld Drive in Uckfield.

The site had previously been granted outline permission in 2016, with planners deciding on the specifics of the design and number of houses rather than the principle of development.

Before making its decision the committee heard from ward councillor Helen Firth (Con. – Uckfield New Town), who raised objections to the scheme.

Cllr Firth said: “Seven dwellings in this area is far too many. It makes the site very cramped [and] it doesn’t take any notice of the impact its is having on [neighbouring properties].

“I would ask that members defer this application to reduce the volume of houses, which would lessen the impact and lessen the risk of flooding.

“The impact on residents is totally unacceptable. This is not an area for another seven houses, it is too small [and] the roads are not suitable for it.”

Cllr Firth also raised concerns about the limits of local infrastructure, saying both the road network and access to medical practices in the town would be put under pressure by the extra housing.

However, officers said the principle of building up to seven houses had already been approved at the outline planning stage.

Officers also said no objections had been raised by East Sussex Highways about the access arrangements, despite Cllr Firth’s concerns.

While unhappy with details of the access arrangements, the committee granted full planning permission as these elements of the scheme had already been approved in 2016.

Putting forward a motion for approval, Cllr Phil Dixon (Con. – Rotherfield) said: “We have approved the seven houses, we have approved the access and although there are clearly some concerns, I don’t think we can now row back from that.

“I’m pleased they have reduced the size of the houses. I wish they had went further but I think it is acceptable.”

These views were shared by Cllr Stepen Isted (Wealden Ind. – Crowborough Jarvis Brook), who said: “I was just going to agree with what Cllr Dixon said, because we are in this situation where we have already given permission to build up to seven houses.

“[Developers] have taken on board what the committee said at the last meeting about the size of the properties and the designs are good and are going to fit in with the area.

“If we hadn’t given permission already I wouldn’t be supporting it, but we have and we have got to follow our planning procedures.”

Although the application was approved, the committee opted to include an informative condition intended to limit the hours of construction work on weekends.