Residents protest against Crowborough development plans

Residents who object to the scheme
Residents who object to the scheme

Plans for 34 houses on the site of Jordon’s Nursery in Blackness Road, Crowborough were met with anger by local residents.

They say the road simply is not fit to take more homes. An application to Wealden District Council shows a mix of one-bed flats, two-bed terraced houses and larger semi and detached houses. Five one-bedroom properties would be designated as social housing.

Protesters’ main objections concern road safety with an increase in vehicle movements, more speed and lack of footpaths. In August members of Crowborough Town Council’s planning committee recommended it for refusal.

A separate application has already been approved for a luxury five-bedroom detached house with swimming pool on the eastern edge of the site for the applicant and his family.

Road widening and improvements, backed by County highways’ officers, are proposed to support the development. But local people believe the decision was based on inaccurate information and their own traffic survey shows significant differences.

Concerns are compounded further as Millwood Designer Homes have lodged a a separate application for 18 houses opposite with new access onto Kemps Farm Road. Residents say this comes after WDC refused a application earlier this year for 27 houses on the same site.

A Blackness Road resident who wishes not to be named said: “The new dwellings are not the issue. What upsets me is the desecration of a beautiful and historic single track road with ancient hedges and a centuries old sunken section – no doubt, the origin of the name Blackness, enjoyed by residents, walkers, cyclists, and horse riders.”

Crowborough councillor Greg Rose said: “Widening this lane will change the nature and character of the street and worsen safety by allowing increased speeds with no pavement along pedestrian routes.

"Residents in the south of the town will bear the brunt of 160 houses on Walsh Manor Farm, with no road improvements and now suffer the potential onslaught of smaller infill schemes compounding Crowborough’s highways issues further.”

The proposal has been earmarked for approval by Wealden Council officers and will be debated at next Thursday’s (October 20) planning committee meeting.

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