Update on Wednesday, January 4, 2017:
Outline planning permission has been granted for land adjoining 22 Keld Drive, Uckfield.
The go-ahead was given by Wealden District Councils plans north committee members.
The town council’s plans committee was against the project.
In response, Wealden said the illustrative spaces between dwellings and the scale of the buildings were similar to the existing properties in the area which is “varied and mixed”.
Update on Thursday, December 8: Plans for between four and seven homes on land at 22 Keld Drive, Uckfield, look set to be approved by Wealden councillors next week.
The district council’s planning committee north, which is due to meet on Thursday, December 15, will consider a report from officers saying that the principle of development is acceptable, though the constraints of the site will need careful consideration at reserved matters stage.
The report says: “This development would not have an adverse effect upon visual or neighbouring property amenity. It is considered acceptable in terms of highway safety. The development will provide a valued contribution to the housing needs of the district.”
Uckfield Town Council objected to the planning application saying it was a “massive over-development” of the site but Wealden officers say in their report that illustrative spaces between the proposed homes and scale of buildings are similar to existing built form, which is varied and mixed in the immediate vicinity of the site.
Read the report to the planning committee north on the Wealden website.
Our original story on September 22: New Town protesters turned out in force to lobby against a plan to build between four and seven new properties near their Uckfield homes.
The proposal for 22 Keld Drive saw around 20 people in the gallery at a meeting of Uckfield Town Council plans committee – one of the largest turnouts of the public in a long time for this committee meeting.
Councillors heard from two people in the audience who pointed out a number of problems they envisaged if the plan was approved.
These included traffic, sewerage and over-development.
Members of the committee agreed to oppose the development.
Their views have gone to Wealden District Council, the planning authority, which will make the decision on the outline plan which proposes the development of between four and seven new homes following the demolition of the existing property.
Twenty-five years ago a plan for eight detached houses on the site was refused.
A document submitted with the planning application states the proposal provided appropriate development at the site, by replacing one house and building of 4 to 7 new residential dwellings in the urban area of Uckfield, “making a contribution to the housing shortfall”.
The applicant pointed to the need contained in national planning policies for councils to demonstrate a five-year housing supply against the housing requirement and referred to the “lack of a five years supply of housing land”.
An immediate neighbour of the 22 Keld Drive said the development would bring hazards outside his bungalow, which was at the end of a cul-de-sac.
New properties would be higher than his and bring about over-looking.
Another speaker pointed to the traffic problems in Keld Drive, neighbouring roads and the hazardous exit on to Framfield Road, which would be made worse by the development.
Vice-chairman of the plans committee, Cllr Barry Mayhew, Independent, New Town, said: “I believe this is a massive over-development of this area.”
Cllr Donna French, Trust Independent, Uckfield North, was concerned about potential flooding.
She had witnessed her neighbours in Olives Meadow suffer from flooding in 2000.
Since then, she said, a flood wall had been built around the Waitrose car park but it had not been tested.
There was a possibility that in times of flood that upstream would suffer more than in 2000.
Cllr Duncan Bennett, Trust Independent, New Town, listed a number of reasons why refusal of permission should be considered, including drainage and sewerage concerns, the increase in traffic and environmental damage.
Chairman of the committee, Cllr James Anderson, Trust Independent, Uckfield North, said the committee should base its objections on access concerns, sewage disposal, the potential threat to wildlife, the development being out-of-keeping with the area, privacy and overlooking issues and flood risk fears.
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