Last week Councillors on the planning committee granted planning permission for two housing developments either side of Blackness Road in Crowborough.
The larger of the two developments was for 34 homes on the Jordan’s Nursery site. The scheme is supported by a series of road improvements to Blackness Road, including carriageway widening and a footway from the site up to the alleyway to Rockington Way.
The second application was submitted by Millwood Designer Homes for 18 homes on woodland between Blackness Road and Tollwood Road.
Forty two local residents had written to Wealden District Council to oppose the scheme at Jordan’s Nursery, with increased traffic and safety of pedestrians on Blackness Road being among the main objections. As well as the 42 objections, a petition of 184 signatures was submitted. Three residents spoke against the scheme at the planning committee. Residents had conducted their own traffic survey and at the committee they called into question the reliability of the data submitted with the application. Traffic consultants working for the applicants argued the number of vehicle movements if planning was granted for the houses would be broadly similar to the current authorised operation at the commercial nursery site.
After a long discussion about access to the site, including whether highway improvements to Blackness Road might make matters worse by enabling vehicles to travel at greater speeds, Councillors granted planning permission by a narrow 6-5 vote.
Speaking after the decision, Theresa McDermott who lives on Luxford Road said:
Like many other local residents I was extremely upset about yesterday’s result!One of the main points that seem to have been conveniently overlooked is the fact that the main reason there have been no serious accidents is because at present and for the distant past the vehicular traffic has been very low along the relevant part of Blackness Road. However with the coming and goings of first the building vehicles and then, when complete the possibility of say 70 new resident vehicles using it and the junction with Luxford Road the risks to pedestrians, dog walkers etc will be hugely increased (not to mention the traffic coming from the development on Walshes Manor to said junction).Also, most people will also take the shortest route to walk to school etc and not the proposed longer walk opposite the site, ie walk up Blackness Rd with no pavements and poor visability!
The Jordan family wish to make it clear that the nursery will remain open for business during 2017. Jason Jordan said:
Thank you to ASP and Wealden District Council for delivering another sustainable affordable housing scheme in Crowborough.
Millwood Designer Homes
At the meeting of the Planning Committee (North) on Thursday 20th October, permission was also granted for 18 homes on land between Blackness Road and Tollwood Road. Access to these houses is via Kemps Farm Road.
This revised application was submitted after Wealden District Council refused an application at the beginning of 2016 for 27 houses on the site, because of the impact on the woodland and ecology of the site. Planning Officers also felt that more information was needed about surface water drainage solutions.
In the latest application more of the woodland is retained. A ‘Woodland Enchancement & Management Plan’ was submitted with the application, which sets out initiatives to preserve the biodiversity of the site. Public paths will provide a link with the existing Crowborough Country Park on the other side of Tollwood Road. In the long-term there is an intention to gift the land to the Town Council, offering potential to form an extension to the Country Park.
Both these application were granted outline permission with condtions, meaning further applications will be made concerning the precise design and appearance of the houses.