Planning inspector refuses Crowborough homes


A planning inspector has refused proposals to build up to 31 houses on land to rear of a property known as Amblestone in London Road.

The developer, Wellsbridge Estates Ltd, had initially been seeking planning permission from Wealden District Council, but took the application to appeal on grounds that the Council failed to issue a decision within the required time limit.

While the Council had not made a formal decision on the scheme, it told the inspector it would have refused planning permission. This, the Council said, was because the applicant had failed to show how 31 houses could be built on the site without harming the appearance of the local area.

This view was shared by the planning inspector, who also concluded that the development would harm the character and appearance of the wider High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

In their decision notice, the inspector said:

While details of the layout and appearance would be considered at the reserved matters stage, the proposal would inevitably result in the site being changed from open grassland to one of built development. 

It would result in the encroachment of residential development beyond the perceived edges of the settlement boundary and would cause the loss of the open land which contributes positively to the wider landscape character.”

Overall, the proposal would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area, and would cause harm to the landscape character of the AONB.

Planning Inspector

For further information see application reference WD/2021/1699/MAO on the Wealden District Council website.


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