A planning application appeal hearing for 63 new homes on Mitchelswood Farm, in Newick, will be heard next month.
The public inquiry will be held on February 9 in Newick Village Hall. Four days have been allocated for discussion before an Inspector.
The Developers (DLA) will be putting to the Inspector that the Mitchelswood site is a sustainable location on the edge of the village for 63 new village homes (including 16 affordable) to be built, should consent be achieved.
The original application in February 2015 could not be recommended by Lewes District Council for no other reason, except it was national policy to wait for any “emerging Neighbourhood Plan” which Newick Parish Council was still creating.
The Newick PC Plan has now been made, and sites selected, however none of them can currently be used for new homes as all sites are within the Ashdown Forest zone of influence, and there is still no mitigation in place to allow construction to commence.
One site, Cricketfields, even has full planning permission, but being within the zone, is currently ‘mothballed’ awaiting a solution.
DLA will point out that Mitchelswood is outside the zone, and so can be delivered.
They will also highlight a few key issues that many feel were not given appropriate consideration by the Parish Council Steering Group when they graded the sites and created the plan. These include:
- The selection process (Sustainability Assessment) did not take into account distance to the primary school as a criteria. This seems at odds with providing family homes.
- Mitchelswood is much nearer to the school than any of the sites finally chosen. The four sites chosen would require a car journey through the Conservation area of the village, already congested.
- The Newick Neighbourhood Plan provides no deliverable sites for new homes.
The event on February 9 will give anyone the opportunity to speak, but all present will be reminded the comments must be made on planning grounds, not on any personal grievances or desire to resist development.
The Newick Neighbourhood Plan was formally adopted by Lewes District Council (LDC) on July 16, 2015. This means the Neighbourhood Plan forms part of the development plan for Lewes District and its policies are now being taken into account by LDC planning officers when determining applications for development in Newick.
The Newick Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed at http://newickparishcouncilsussex-public.sharepoint.com/neighbourhood-plan.
The DLA’s plan would include vehicular and pedestrian accesses and car parking, alongside 63 new homes on the farm, on Allington Road.
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