Planners defer decision on Crowborough homes

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Wealden planners have delayed a decision on the next stage of a major housing development in Crowborough, continuing a pattern of deferrals over sewage concerns.

Artists impression of housing development in Crowborough
Artists impression of the housing development submitted by the applicants

On Thursday (18th August), Wealden District Council’s Planning Committee North unanimously deferred discussion on plans to build up to 100 houses on land between Walshes Road and Luxford Road.

The Committee said its decision was the result of the Council being unsatisfied with the information provided by Southern Water, noting that a motion passed by the Council last month had asked the company to provide a greater level of detail when it responds to planning applications.

The Committee also noted that Councillors and senior officers are due to meet with the water company in the near future and it was hoped this would result in more information coming forward at a later date.

This same reason had been given by the Council’s other planning committee — Planning Committee South — when it opted to defer discussion on three major housing applications last week.

The scheme itself had been seeking reserved matters approval, as outline permission had previously been granted in November 2020. In other words, it had already been granted permission in principle.

Even so, the scheme had seen objections from several local residents as well as both Crowborough Town Council and Rotherfield Parish Council.

Among other concerns, these objectors had raised fears that the development would add too much pressure on to the sewerage system. This was not supported by Southern Water, which said the development would “not increase the risk of flooding in the existing public sewerage network”.

Although broadly similar to the indicative plans previously submitted, the development’s final design now also includes a landscape buffer between the new homes and existing properties in Walshes Road.

Click to watch a video of the meeting of Planning Committee North on 18th August 2022.

For more information on the background and the motion passed at Full Council last month see: The Impact of Housing on the Sewage Network.

In related news MPs from across Sussex have written to the CEOs of Southern Water and the Environment Agency demanding that the Sussex waterways and coast ‘are respected and protected.’

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