Planning Inspector dismisses Crowborough appeal


A Planning Inspector has upheld a decision to refuse the extension of an apartment complex in Crowborough.

In a decision notice published yesterday (Wednesday 20th), the Government-appointed Planning Inspector has dismissed an appeal against a decision to refuse an extension to Holly Court, an 18-flat apartment complex in Beacon Road.

The applicant, Traditional Homes (Sussex), had been seeking planning permission for a two-storey extension to the existing property, which is split over two buildings, adding two new one-bedroom apartments.

Holly Court (Proposed Front Elevation)

However, in a delegated decision last year the scheme was refused by Wealden planning officers over concerns the extension would be “detrimental and harmful” to the character of the surrounding area.

The applicant disagreed with this conclusion, appealing on the grounds the proposals would not result in the harm Wealden officers concluded it would, while also ‘making best use’ of the site.

In documents submitted as part of the appeal, a spokesman for the applicant said:

The analysis of these issues demonstrates that the proposal would not cause significant harm in terms of its appearance in the street scene or to the character of the area more generally.

Likewise, there has been shown not to be significant harm to neighbours’ amenities. Even if a degree of harm was considered to arise, that would need to be weighed against the significant benefits of providing sustainable new homes.

However, in my opinion, neither the ‘dominance’ issues the Local Planning Authority has identified regarding the appearance of the proposal, nor the concerns regarding neighbour amenity amount to the level of significant and demonstrable harm that would outweigh the benefits of the proposal.

Appellant documentation

The independent Planning Inspector took a different view, however, concluding that the negative impacts of the extension would outweigh the benefits of providing new housing, even with Wealden District Council’s lack of a five-year supply of housing land.

In their decision, the Inspector said:

The appeal site is not a suitable site for the proposal and the adverse impacts of approving the proposed development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the [National Planning Policy] Framework as a whole.

The proposal would not therefore be sustainable development for which the presumption in favour applies.

Appeal Decision

For further information on the development see the Wealden District Council website (Ref WD/2020/0643/F).



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