Plans for up to 30 new homes to be built at Coopers Green are recommended for approval by Wealden councillors next week.
Members of Planning Committee North are due to consider an outline application (number WD/2020/1088/MAO) for up to 35 homes on land west of Five Ash Down Road on Thursday, April 1.
But a report to the committee is recommending approval subject to a reduction in the number of homes, and for amendments to the affordable housing mix to provide more one-bedroom units.
The scale of the development had previously been reduced from 39 homes to 35.
The recommendation for approval also seeks completion of a Section 106 planning agreement to secure 35% affordable housing provision, and 5% serviced plots for custom and self-build units.
The planning agreement would also include a financial contribution towards off-site youth and adult recreation space, and off-site highway works for footway widening, two crossing points, bus stop infrastructure, and any other associated works on the highway that may arise as part of a road safety audit.
And the agreement would cover financial contributions towards Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space and Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Strategies.
A full report, containing other conditions attached to the recommendation for approval, can be found on the Wealden website.
Wealden Council’s inability to demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing land is described as “a significant material consideration in favour of the application”.
It is said to outweigh two council policies which restrict development in open countryside.
The report says: “Whilst it is acknowledged in the main body of the report that the development will impact on the character of the immediate locality, the adverse impacts are not considered to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the advantages of the delivery of additional dwellings in the context of the district’s lack of a five-year housing land supply, subject to the quantum of development being reduced as per the officer’s recommendation.”
The site covers three and a half acres of what is currently agricultural land. It has boundaries with Budletts Green Road, and Coopers Green Road.
Sussex Gardens Trust is one of the organisations to object to the proposals saying they provide for existing scrub planting to be removed making the new houses clearly visible from the road, resulting in visual harm to the setting of the lodge at the entrance to Buxted Park, and to the park beyond.
Buxted Parish Council has objected saying it has serious concerns over the impact this would have on highways.
“This development would connect the town of Uckfield to the hamlet of Five Ash Down, and Coopers Green would lose its individuality.”
The parish council also points out that Five Ash Down has already seen vast development with the homes at Ashdown Place.
Uckfield Town Council has objected too. It shares Buxted’s concern about lost identify and character for the hamlet of Cooers Green and the removal of a natural break between Uckfield and Five Ash Down.
Town councillors are also concerned about potential loss of habitats for local wildlife and lack of consideration towards nearby ancient woodlands.
The add: “This application places full risk to the development boundaries of both Uckfield Town and Buxted Parish.
“Such development would place further strain on the infrastructure of Uckfield Town and Buxted Parish.”