Attempts to upgrade a small camping and caravan site on the outskirts of Uckfield at Meadowside have received a setback.
Members of Wealden District Council’s planning committee north last Thursday (January 14) rejected an application to build a shower block and lavatories at land off the Eastbourne Road, near the junction with the A22, writes Paul Watson.
The campsite is a “permitted development” and does not require planning permission, although the construction of buildings does.
Councillors reject officers’ advice
Councillors rejected officers’ advice to approve the building plan on three grounds.
They said the application site at Meadowside was an open and sensitive area of countryside within the Low Weald landscape.
The siting, design, external materials and appearance of the building forming the proposed shower and toilet facilities would be of an “inappropriate low standard”, and would “consolidate the potential for noise, disturbance and an adverse impact upon the amenities of neighbouring properties through intensified noise and activity”, close to the southern boundary of the site, and most immediate neighbours.
The second reason for refusal was the toilet and shower facilities would form a “permanent, visually intrusive development” in the landscape on “this sensitive rural site, which is characterised by a notably quiet environment further north from the Eastbourne Road”.
It would not be compatible with the natural environment, and would form permanent, visually intrusive development in the landscape, with inadequate screening, and no proposed landscaping which would mitigate the harm.
“No need has been shown for consolidating such caravan/camping facilities in this location to outweigh the above mentioned harm,” the committee decided.
Road dangers highlighted
The third reason for refusal was danger to road users.
It was said shower and toilet facilities would be likely to increase the attractiveness of the site to a wider range of holidaymakers, and lead to more intensive use of the site and vehicular access off the Class ‘C’ Eastbourne Road, which is subject to the national speed limit of 60 mph.
“The identified vehicle access to the site is constrained and sub-standard in terms of visibility splays, width, construction, and geometry.
‘Unacceptable traffic conditions’
“The proposals would therefore be likely to perpetuate and increase unacceptable traffic conditions, particularly bearing in mind the slow manoeuvres associated with some of the vehicular traffic entailed, with potentially severe impact on highway safety.
“In addition, the current location of the gate to the access, adjacent to the highway, would create a risk of vehicles stopping on the public highway before entering the site, with consequent possibility of collisions, and harm to public safety,” the council said.
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