Contentious housing development approved


Update: The application to build 119 homes on Eridge Road next to Goldsmith Rec was approved by a 7-5 vote of Councillors.

It was the only application on the agenda of Planning Committee North on 10th July. You can watch a video of the meeting here:

Refused Development to be Reconsidered

An application to build a major housing development in Crowborough, is to be re-determined by the Planning Committee next week.

Click to make the map interactive

The planning application for 119 homes on land next to Goldsmiths Rec was narrowly refused in a 6 to 5 vote at a committee meeting on 5th March.

Shortly after the meeting, Wealden District Council received a complaint from lawyers acting on behalf of the applicant Fairfax Acquisitions Limited.  It appears that a councillor participated in the decision-making process in breach of the Code of Conduct for Members.  Having obtained external legal advice, the Council are bringing the application back to committee for re-determination.   

The committee report, written by the Head of Planning who is also the case officer, tells Councillors that they must come to Committee with an “open mind”, otherwise the decision is susceptible to challenge by Judicial Review:

…the Committee and its Members must consider the item afresh and with an ‘open mind’. In doing so, Members need to avoid any appearance of bias or of having predetermined their views before taking a decision on the planning application (as resubmitted to the Committee) or on planning policies.

The report goes onto reminds Councillors the Planning Code of Good Practice within Part 5 of the Council’s Constitution applies to all members of the Planning Committee.

A “virtual” meeting of Planning Committee North will be held at 10am on Friday 10th July. The application for outline planning permission is the only item on the Agenda. Click to watch the remote meeting.

Click to read previous articles about this housing development:



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  1. Can Crowborough really cope with any more extra housing? Are the roads fit to take more traffic, especially those around Western Road? Are our present schools able to take more children? Have our doctor’s surgeries got enough doctors to take on more patients? The only thing we have plenty of, is food shops but they are filled up by people coming from Tunbridge Wells and villages from all around Crowborough, so perhaps not enough with those.
    I despair. The lovely little town I first came to in the 1970s has sadly gone, there is no community feel to it.

    • Hi Jenny,
      I agree with you. I moved from Tonbridge because they were building left, right and centre and now it’s happening here. It’s changed massively in the last 5 years. Shame really.

  2. In fill, in fill, everywhere
    N’er a blade of grass
    Doesn’t anybody care?
    Oh what a merry farce.

    Pack them in
    Turn them round
    No fields or view
    In Crowborough to be found.

    Fancy a walk
    Well don’t come here
    No countryside left
    Set in concrete I fear.

    Paved over grass
    Now houses, roads and street
    What green pleasure left
    Beneath our feet?

  3. So it looks as if they will get permission whether it is sanctioned or not by finding a way via English law to find a way forward. I find it very disconcerting that these conglomerates can bulldoze their requirements through ( without predjudice) and locals have to put up and shut up when putting in request to the planners with reasons such as, no one else has one, if your neighbour gets one you can have it I am really dissapointed with the whole sharade. It makes you think, if only I was a bit richer. Our infrastructure cannot take more homes, every service is struggling with what we have. We are not a big town we are a village surrounded by houses. The people of Crowborough are countryfolk not townies, their green pastures are being sold off from under them. The company looking to build are looking for profits for their owners and backers they arent looking to build affordable homes for local people. The committee needs to take a long hard look at themselves and what they are allowing to happen. Why use a large building company, gather the skill set and build your own and get them to the people who need them. With green sites, once its gone its gone.

  4. Crowborough is the largest inland town in East Sussex but its facilities have declined over the years and it’s fast becoming a glorified concrete car park. Every inch of land in the town centre is being built on and every time a business closes down the empty premises are converted into flats. Parking spaces are deemed unnecessary as we have a bus service but bicycle accomodation is provided instead. Needless to say, these are rarely used and parking on yellow lines is all too common. The pressure on local councils to build is enormous and Heads of Planning seem to have their own agenda to ignore the views of residents. The awful development next to the Community Centre is a prime example of planners and developers riding roughshod over local residents. How will Crowborough cope with hundreds of new houses and their occupiers? Schools and healthcare are of prime importance but roads must also be considered. Creating a new T-junction on Eridge Road on the approach to The Cross traffic lights to allow access and egress for yet another housing estate is madness. Yet In the midst of all this housing mania there are proposed cuts to Crowborough Fire Station’s manning and vehicles! I’ve lived here since 1966 (the World Cup was a supporting feature at the local cinema – yes, we had a cinema). Now I despair of what this town has become.

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