Application to build houses at Royal Mires refused

Update: Yesterday (17th November) planning permission was refused by Wealden District Councillors by a 5-4 vote on grounds of sustainability and because the site is in the High Weald AONB.

There were 17 letters from local residents and an objection from the Highways Authority drew attention to the lack of public transport and footpaths.  However, Wealden’s own planning officers had recommended Councillors grant approval, because national planning policy supports development on brownfield sites such as this and the Council’s failure to meet its 5 year land supply for housing.  The Affordable Housing Delivery Plan would have meant the developer would have had to provide funding to build 3 x 2 bed affordable houses elsewhere in the district.

During the debate Councillor Roundell expressed concern that Wealden would lose on appeal:

If we don’t accept this I guess it will go to appeal  – are we going to waste council tax payers money on defending the undefendable – is a question I’d ask?

You can watch a webcast of the meeting:

Plans have been submitted to build nine detached houses on the land currently occupied by Royal Mires Nursery at Lye Green near Crowborough (July 2016).

Royal Mire Nursery Lye Green nr CrowboroughThe owners Rumwood Nurseries have applied to Wealden District Council for planning permission to demolish the garden centre and build 4 x four-bedroomed houses and 5 x five-bedroomed houses on the site.

The covering letter explains that the garden centre has been running at a loss in recent years and argues the passing trade does not justify investment in the retail business.

Rumwood Nurseries acquired Royal Mires 11 years ago.  Their other garden centre is in Langley, about 4 miles South West of Maidstone.

To view the planning application, see WDC’s website (Ref: WD/2016/1618/F): www.planning.wealden.gov.uk.


5 comments on “Application to build houses at Royal Mires refused
  1. It would be a pity to lose this garden centre that is very good and acts as competition to Millbrook Garden Centre. The Deerstalker pub nearby has just been turned into a large residence for its owners, where an opportunity to turn this large building into two houses was ignored and lost. Crowborough is desperate for affordable homes, and to propose another development of large houses is inexcusable. Just because the houses in the vicinity are all substantial is no reason to suppose a brownfield site like this should exclude affordables. If this application is passed I will have lost my trust in Wealden DC’s supposed quest to build affordable houses where such opportunities present themselves.

  2. This application will pass that’s for sure. The council allowed a huge monstrosity to be extended next to my house without consultation and were totally unaccountable. This development is very sad and not affordable to most people.

    • Hannah, if you haven’t done so, please leave an official objection on the WDC site. The more the better. The 50 odd letters of objection to the plans for the Deerstalker mysteriously disappeared off the site, and another opportunity for affordable housing was lost. The planners’ hypocrisy must be exposed.

  3. Jane – I understand letters from neighbours (in support or objection) are routinely removed from the planning website for data protection reasons once an application has been reached.

  4. Clearly 4 and 5 bed houses are not needed. Smaller family homes are the way to go on this site . The NIMBY’s need to understand more homes need to be built.

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