Housing Development at the old Council Depot in Jarvis Brook has been approved


Update:  Outline planning permission was granted at the meeting of the Planning Committee North on 12th May 2016.

At planning application for 34 affordable homes has been submitted for the old council depot off Forest Dene in Jarvis Brook.

Council-Depot-Forest-DeneWealden District Council want outline permission to allow them to build 26 houses and two blocks of flats containing eight one-bed apartments.  There will be 12 two-bed houses, 12 three-bed houses and 2 four-bed houses on the site.  There will be 48 parking spaces adjacent to the homes with 10 spaces for visitors to use.

Affordable Housing

The Council’s policy is for 35% affordable housing.  All the affordable housing will be owned and managed by the Council.  The ‘Design and Access Statement’ submitted with the planning application states there are currently 123 households on the Council’s housing register requiring affordable housing in Crowborough.

Wildlife Habitat

The former depot was previously used for storing vehicles such a bin lorries.  The 2 acre site has not been used since 2013 and has been earmarked for housing for some time.  The Transport Study argues there will be no impact on the air quality of Ashdown Forest, as there will be less vehicle movements than when the site was used as a garage for HGVs.

Due to the proximity of The Ghyll local nature reserve to the South West, it is likely the site is providing a habitat for protected wildlife species.  A preliminary ecological survey conducted in 2014 identified slow-worms, dormice and an active badger sett in The Ghyll.  The report highlights the need to transfer the slow-worms to an alternative site.  As the development involves the loss of hedgerows and scrubland with potential to support dormice, the ecologists have said it will be necessary to apply to Natural England for a licence to undertake the work.

Click to view a larger copy of the plan on Wealden District Council’s website

To view the planning application see Wealden District Council’s website (Ref: WD/2016/0619/MAO): www.planning.wealden.gov.uk.

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  1. Common sense dictates that this development should go ahead. There is a great need for ‘affordable’ housing in the area. Hedges can be replaced. Badgers (I know from experience) are adaptable and will move elsewhere to set up new setts if their colonies are disturbed. Slow-worms are likely to be killed by domestic cats, but future residents can be given advice on how to make their gardens wildlife friendly, however small. There are ways to protect and promote dormice. It’s not rocket science! Let’s have some support for humankind who need housing to raise their families without the dreadful stress of ever-increasing rents, threats of eviction for daring to mention problems to landlords, frustration at rising prices leading to unsuitable housing being all they can afford, and all the ills of our present housing crisis. Oh, and people who live in modest houses are not necessarily ‘lowlife’, a perception and prejudice all too prevalent in largely prosperous Crowborough.

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