Update: Yesterday two new housing schemes were granted planning permission in Crowborough:
34 homes at Jordan’s Nursery (Rockington Nursery) and 18 homes with access off Kemps Farm Road (Millwood Designer Homes).
You can watch the discussion that took place at Wealden Council’s planning committee (start time 00:59:34). Items 8 and 9 respectively:
An application has been submitted for planning permission to build 34 homes on the site of Jordan’s Nursery on Blackness Road in Crowborough.
The development will be a mixture of one-bed flats, 2-bed terraced houses, and larger semi and detached houses. A third of the homes, the flats and terraced houses, will be social housing. A separate application has also been submitted for a 5-bedroom detached house on the eastern-edge of the site, which when built Jason Jordan and his family will move into. Other members of the Jordan family will continue to live at ‘Toumac’ and ‘Nursery Cottage’ adjacent to the development.
The Jordan family told CrowboroughLife that because plants are being grown in giant ‘factory’ nurseries, small neighbourhood nurseries like theirs can no longer compete:
The nursery has run at a loss for a number of years now, due to competition from local supermarkets, rising fuel, labour costs and foreign imports.
This is not the only current planning application for a plant nursery in the Crowborough area. Millbrook Garden Centre have been consulting with residents about developing Treblers Nursery, and just last month an application was submitted seeking permission to build houses at Royal Mires Nursery in Lye Green. This application also cites economic reasons for closing the nursery.
The Jordan family have owned the site for about 100 years. A map submitted as part of the heritage statement as part of the application shows a nursery on the site in 1910.
Discussions have been held with East Sussex Highways about how access to the site for vehicles and pedestrians could be improved. The application states parking spaces for 73 cars will be provided. The current access road next to ‘Toumac’ will be closed and a new road constructed that will have better sightlines for vehicles emerging onto Blackness Road. East Sussex County Council have also suggested that a passing bay could be constructed further down Blackness Road on the bend near Tollwood House. A pavement would be built along part of Blackness Road, connecting the site with the alley that leads onto Rockington Way.
The Transport Statement submitted with the application argues that there would be fewer vehicle movements if the site was to be used for housing.
Developer contributions towards infrastructure
In April the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced. In Crowborough residential developers now have to pay Wealden District Council £150 per square metre of floor space to fund a list of infrastructure developments across the district, including funding for new primary school places in Crowborough. (You can see how the money will be spent be looking at the CIL Charging Schedule on Wealden’s website.)
Among other things, the Jordan family want to stress that the proposals would regenerate what is currently a semi-derelict brownfield site:
The traffic impact of the proposed development will be displaced by the existing nursery traffic with considerable reduction in HGVs which deliver in and out of the site on a daily basis.
We will be supplying 35% affordable housing / starter homes to the community, as well as road improvements including a footpath crossing and a passing bay.
There will also be a Community infrastructure Levy payment to the local community for schools, doctors surgeries and infrastructure improvements that will be a substantial six figure sum.
In reality, the proposed low density development will add more green space to the previously developed ‘Brownfield Site’ due to the considerate nature of the layout and the large gardens.
We hope too bring back some employment for local building firms and tradesmen.>
The application for 34-homes is for outline planning permission. A decision covers the general principles of how a site can be developed. Subsequent approval of detailed matters, such as the design of the houses, normally have to be taken within three years from when outline planning permission is granted. The Jordan family have said that it is likely they would sell the land to a developer if and when outline planning permission is obtained.
To view the two planning applications, see Wealden District Council’s website:
- 34 houses (outline planning): WD/2016/1677/MAO
- 1 detached house (full planning): WD/2016/1678/F (approved 19/09/2016)
The public have until 9th September to comment on the application for 34 houses.
Millwood Designer Homes have appealed a decision to reject their application to built 29-homes on the other side of Blackness Road. Access to this development would be off Kemps Farm Road not Blackness Road (click here for more information).
Back in Novemeber 2014, the Head of Planning at Wealden District Council told Crowborough Town Councillors they he was expecting a ‘flood’ of applications once the green space associated with the Walshes Road development was approved (read the article here). It seems his prediction is coming to fruition.
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