Plans to build a 74-bedroom care home in Highview Lane, Ridgewood, are recommended for approval by Wealden councillors next week.
Uckfield Town Council objected to the plan to build on the site of the former Ridgewood Rise home and 55 responses were received from neighbours raising concerns including:
- Design is not appropriate and is out of scale
- Impact upon visual amenity/street scene
- Impact upon neighbour amenity from overlooking and overbearing scale development
- Effect on highway safety
- Parking provision
- The East Sussex act (access by services) and drainage considerations.
Sussex Police supported the proposals and there were no objections from the highways authority or Southern Water Services.
48-bed facility already approved
Planning permission is already in place for a 48-bed care facility on the site with consulting rooms for an outreach clinic, and a refreshment centre.
The latest application for 74 beds follows another proposal for a 75-bed scheme which Wealden officers considered, in parts, to be “unneighbourly”.
An officer’s report to members of Wealden’s planning committee, north, which meets on Thursday, May 12, says the scheme has subsequently been amended to reduce the effect on neighbouring properties.
Allegations about land ownership
The report says a number of allegations raised about ownership of the site have been noted.
“In response to these allegations the council has undertaken Land Registry search. The land ownership details on record with the Land Registry concurs with the redline site area. It is noted that there is a small land parcel for which ownership is not known within the site area.
“The applicants have completed Certificate D and have placed an advert in the local press because the ownership of the land is not known. It is considered that the application is valid as the correct notice has been served.
“The council has taken reasonable steps to ascertain land ownership.”
The report also considers the East Sussex Act which was mentioned in neighbour representations, in relation to access for fire vehicles.
The report says: “There have not been any amendments to the East Sussex Act since the 2009 scheme was approved. The access arrangements to the site area are the same as the extant planning permission. There is capacity within the site for a fire engine to attend.”
Any issues relating to compliance with the act were not a material planning consideration, the report said, and it would not be an issue for the local planning authority to address at this stage.
The officer’s report concludes: “It is noted that the town council have raised objections to this amended scheme but were in support of a larger, more harmful, development. (The 75-bed home on the site).
“Their comments along with the significant number of local representations made have been carefully considered.
“The revised scheme has significantly reduced the potential effects of the scheme on sensitive neighbouring properties. The higher elements of the scheme are set in the centre of the site, further away from boundaries.
“The height of this development is lower than the approved scheme. The scheme has been amended to provide 20 parking spaces.
“The development is considered to be acceptable in this location and is recommended for conditional approval.”
The full report to planning committee north can be seen here.