This morning (Thursday 12th February) Wealden’s Planning Committee unanimously approved Crowborough Community Association’s application for change of use, enabling Pine Grove to be converted into an Enterprise Centre.
Afterwards in the reception area, Council Leader Bob Standley took questions from the campaigners, who had travelled down to Hailsham by coach for the meeting.
With jeers of being ‘anti-Crowborough’ and ‘it’s a stitch-up’, campaigners repeatedly questioned Cllr Standley as to why Wealden District Council granted preferred bidder status to Bouygues to build an extra care facility on the site.
Cllr Standley explained Wealden District Council will consider the recent bid from Crowborough Town Council to buy WDC’s former officers in Crowborough, but that at present their offer was subject to consultation with residents and securing finance. Cllr David Larkin pointed-out the rival bid from Bouygues was subject to them getting planning permission.
Under planning procedures, buildings can have any number of different planning consents approved.
The next hurdle will be the consultation with Crowborough residents about the Town Council taking-out a massive loan to buy the freehold and convert the building. At the recent extra-ordinatory Town Council meeting, Councillors said they planned to write to households and hold public meetings about the increase in Council Tax for the project, to explain fully what they were proposing to do (read more here).