The Planning Committee has approved five houses on land currently used as Royal Mires Garden Centre at Lye Green.
Two previous applications to demolish the existing buildings and build nine and seven dwellings respectively were both rejected by Wealden District Council and later dismissed on appeal.
In a 7 to 5 vote today (Thursday 1st April), Councillors gave the go-ahead for three 4-bedroom houses and one 3-bedroom and one 5-bedroom properties.
The site is within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the High Weald Unit said they were disappointed the applicant didn’t seem to appear to be aware of the High Weald Housing Design Guide. They described the application as “a pastiche imitation of a High Weald farmstead”.
A financial contribution would be made in lieu of onsite affordable housing and the developer has shown there would be fewer vehicle movements than the current use as a garden centre.
The local Councillor for the area is Cllr Keith Obbard (Withyham, Green). He accepted that this application was more sympathetic to the natural environment than previous versions; but he wanted the Council to seek assurances about sustainability of the development, in order to deliver net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, such as quality of build and renewable heating installed in the properties.
The meeting was live streamed on YouTube. You can watch the Committee’s deliberations from 1:25:00 onwards.
Millbrook Garden Centre have also applied for planning permission to build 33 houses on their site in Jarvis Brook.