A planning application has been submitted to Wealden District Council to build 31 flats and houses on a field behind London Road in Crowborough. Space for a new access road to the homes would be enabled by demolishing a large detached property.
The site is in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and outside the development boundary for Crowborough.
The Council’s search to find possible land suitable for development concluded development on the site “would have an unjustified impact on the character and appearance of the attractive and high quality landscape which surrounds Crowborough.” (SHELAA January 2019 page 97). Open map of SHELAA submitted sites.
The applicants however argue because the planning authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land and because their development plan is out-of-date, a “tilted balance” exists. In these cases, under the National Planning Policy Framework there is a presumption in favour of granting sustainable developments unless the harms significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.
Wealden published a revised Housing Action Plan in June identifying what more they will do to boost the supply of new homes in the District, despite the constraint they face with nearly two-thirds of Wealden being protected landscape. The Conservative leadership have recently engaged in a campaign to argue the Government’s housing targets are unfairly calculated.
Wellsbridge Estates Ltd have applied for permission to build up to 31 homes. A mixture of 1-bedroom flats and 1-4-bed houses. As per the Council’s policy, 35% will be affordable housing (can include council houses, housing association and shared ownership).
Click on the following link to see the planning documents: Ref WD/2021/1699/MAO. Comments can be submitted to the planning authority up to 29th August. It is important to remember that planning officers and the planning committee can only take valid planning issues into account when considering the merits of an application.