Update: On 3rd February 2017 the appeal by Millwood Designer Homes was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.
A separate application for 18 homes has already approved by Wealden District Council.
A developer has appealed a council’s decision to refuse permission to build 29 houses on woodland between Tollwood Road and Blackness Road in Crowborough.
The application was refused by Planning Officers at Wealden District Council in January 2016 for two main grounds:
Firstly that there would be loss of important habitat and potentially protected species. The woodland site is an important ecosystem and lies adjacent to areas of Ancient Woodland and a local nature reserve. Secondly that there is insufficient detail about how the balancing pond would work, without that information the application does not demonstrate how the development would not lead to an increased risk of surface water flooding.
The application was assessed by the Case Officer and a decision reached using delegated powers, meaning the application did not go before Councillors on the Planning Committee (North) to vote.
Now Millwood Designer Homes have lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate.
Tonbridge-based housebuilder Millwood Designer Homes have applied to Wealden District Council for outline planning permission to build 29 houses on woodland between Tollwood Road and Blackness Road in Crowborough. Access to the new homes will be off Kemps Farm Road.
Outline planning permission is granted subject to conditions requiring the subsequent approval of “reserved matters”. This allows flexibility in the final design of the development. In this application all matters will be reserved other than those concerning access arrangements.
For illustrative purposes the Development Layout (above) shows 3 and 4-bed detached houses, some semi-detached properties and a short row of 2/3 bed terrace houses. In line with planning policy, 10 of the homes will be for social housing.
A detailed ‘Arboricultural Impact Assessment’ has been submitted with the application. The tree report states the development will require the removal of over 80 trees. The scheme aims to retain two old woodland banks and their trees of mainly common oak and ash, along with a landscaped buffer along Tollwood Road and Blackness Road.
It is proposed the development will include a footpath linking to Blackness Road, as well as a woodland walk to Tollwood Road and onwards to the Country Park beyond.
Water from roads, roofs and driveways will drain into a new pond in the northern corner of the site before being discharged into the ditch that runs down from Montargis and through the Country Park to Jarvis Brook.
When Crowborough Town Council considered the application they commented on the loss of habitat adjacent to the Country Park and raised concern about the traffic implications to access roads. Residents on Rockington Way and St Michaels Close have also written to the planning authority asking for councillors to consider the congestion at the junction of Kemps Farm Road and Luxford Road particularly at school times.
Millwood Designer Homes Ltd have said they will address all relevant points raised during the consultation period when they come to seeking approval on reserved matters.
You can see the site boundary on Google Maps.
To see the planning application and read the reports see the Wealden District Council website (Ref WD/2015/2272/MAO: www.planning.wealden.gov.uk. You have until 1st December to comment.