New regulations to protect forest hit Maresfield, Uckfield, planning application
Plans to build two new homes at Maresfield Park, Maresfield, near Uckfield, look set for refusal as new regulations to protect the Ashdown Forest start to bite.
At first it appeared the applicants would be able to make a contribution to help deal with the impact arising from additional recreational pressures on the forest but now councillors are being told in a report that this will not be enough to mitigate the impact of the development.
The main problem is the high levels of nitrogen pollution evident within the Special Area of Conservation/Special Protection Area.
“The authority are obliged under the Habitat Regulations to take a precautionary stance looking at all new development, in combination,” says a report which will go to a meeting of the planning committee, north, on Thursday.
It continues saying that the application - relating to Charnwood, Middle Drive - was deferred to allow time for a strategy to be implemented that could seek a contribution for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace but since then the consideration of nitrogen deposition has come to the fore.
“This issue cannot be addressed by the provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace therefore the use/development of the site for two detached dwellings each with attic accommodation and detached garage would amount to an increase in the use of the A26 and A22 which pass through the Special Area of Conservation.
“In conclusion it cannot be ascertained that the development will not adversely affect the integrity of the European Site, the Ashdown Forest ... this leaves the local planning authority with no realistic alternative but to withhold planning permission."
The new Wealden Council policy says that all development within 7km of the Ashdown Forest which would increase recreational and traffic pressures on the forest must mitigate its own impact.
(Added to site Monday, May 28th, 2012)