Developers are seeking a screening opinion for up to 290 homes at Bird in Eye Farm, south of Bird in Eye Hill, Uckfield.
The site is described as surrounding, but not including, the buildings making up the farm which are in the centre of the northern half of the site. A new access would be provided both for the farm and the development.
Planning consultants say, in a letter to Wealden Council, that the site was described as “suitable, available, and achievable” in the council’s Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA).
And they say that the council confirmed, in a pre-application response, that the inclusion of an on-site SANG was a “weighty consideration in favour of the site” which would unlock development not only on this site, but other sites coming forward too.
The letter points out that while the site is outside the Uckfield development boundary, the council’s development plan is out of date and the council is unable to demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing land.
And it says: “In locational terms, Uckfield is acknowledged as being one of the most sustainable locations for growth in the district.”
The letter continues: “Overall we are of the view that the proposals for the development of land to the south of Bird in Eye afford an opportunity to secure sustainable development that can be delivered expeditiously on the grant of planning permission.”
The site is described as within easy walking distance of the town centre with easy access to local shopping and health facilities, schools, nurseries, the train station and job opportunities.
A footpath would be provided, for pedestrians and cyclists, from the north-western corner of the site to the existing footway on Bird in Eye Hill.
The site is close to another piece of land north of Mallard Drive which has planning permission for 119 homes.
The total site area proposed for development is 41 hectares – more than 100 acres. The residential area would cover up to 15 hectares while the SANG would be about 26 hectares.
The SANG would be at the eastern and southern ends of the site. It would contain circular walking routes, wildlife ponds, new tree and hedge planting, biodiversity enhancements, such as bird and bat boxes, timber seating, dog waste bins and a dedicated car park.
Mix of homes
The letter from planning consultants to Wealden Council says the development would provide a mix of housing sizes, types, and tenures, to meet local needs.
There would be family housing, smaller starter homes, and flats.
“Each development parcel will have a comprehensive landscaping scheme designed as an integral part of the overall design process, to ensure the final scheme is appropriate to its setting and character.
“The development will provide a sustainable urban extension to Uckfield, and will provide a strong defensible settlement edge defined by the SANG.”
Read more about the request for a screening opinion, number WD/2021/6504/SO, on the Wealden Council website.