Yesterday evening Crowborough Town Councillors were given an opportunity to question Wealden District Council’s chief planning officer at length about the development on fields off Walshes Road.
See summary of the meeting here.
A representative from Wealden District Council will be attending a meeting in the Town Hall on Monday to answer questions about the controversial development off Walshes Road.
Following approval of the planning application for 160 houses at Walsh Manor Farm by the planning authority Wealden District Council (WDC), many questions have been raised by Councillors and local residents about the planning criteria applied and the eleventh change of heart by East Sussex County Council (ESCC).
ESCC’s Highways Department had originally wanted the scheme rejected because they felt it would make the traffic on the approach roads worse, particularly Western Road. Their objection was however removed, following a meeting with the developer Rydon Homes and their transport consultants, just nine days before the planning committee was held.
At the time an East Sussex County Council spokesman said:
We originally objected to this application as we felt the developer had not fully considered the proposed access arrangements and that the highways scheme put forward didn’t do enough to mitigate the likely impact on traffic in Western Road and nearby streets, where existing traffic problems would have been exacerbated.
Subsequently, the developer’s transport consultant worked very quickly to revise its highways scheme and to put in place measures which addressed all of our concerns.
We are satisfied that the revised scheme will minimise the impact on traffic and may even improve the current situation in terms of traffic flow, parking and road safety, therefore we withdrew our objection to the application.
At the last Planning and Development Committee, Crowborough Town Councillors decided to request meetings with both the District and County Councils to get to the bottom of what happened. Crowborough Town Councillors also want to see the results of the traffic survey the Town Council part-funded.
WDC’s Planning Committee (North) decided they would grant outline planning permission, subject to the agreement of planning obligations, despite about a hundred local people telling WDC they were against the development.
Peter Ellison, Chairman of Western Road Residents Association spoke against the development at the planning meeting. Local resident Val Wells and Town Councillor Peter Cowie also spoke at the meeting.
Residents in Luxford Road (directly opposite the site) were angry that it appeared little consideration had been taken of additional traffic travelling in their direction to go to schools and other facilities in the town.
County Councillors Sylvia Tidy and Richard Stogdon have now asked for a comprehensive review of speed limits and traffic issues in Crowborough.
At Crowborough Town Council’s Planning and Development Committee on Monday 24th November, Town Councillors will have the opportunity to question a representative of Wealden District Council (thought to be Kelvin Williams, Head of Planning & Environmental Services) about the decision. The meeting is open to the public, and the agenda can be downloaded from the Crowborough Town Council’s website here: Agenda P&D 24th November 2014.