Ninety new homes at Eastbourne Road, Uckfield, gained planning permission by the narrowest of margins, leaving Uckfield town councillors exasperated.
The decision was made by members of Wealden District Council planning committee north (PCN) – on the casting vote of the councillor who chaired the meeting.
The town council’s plans committee had strongly objected to the scheme on many grounds and its chairman, Cllr Karen Bedwell, said: “I am extremely disappointed that 90 houses along the Eastbourne Road, which will potentially cause flooding and a 30% traffic increase into New Road, which is going to be a road safety issue . . . was actually decided by one person, in the end.
Original vote tied
“That should have gone back for a debate.”
Cllr Bedwell was speaking at a meeting of Uckfield Town Council on Monday (April 12) added:
“I am very disappointed it was [the voting] 5-5 and the chair made that deciding factor.
“The effect of those 90 houses is going to be huge in Ridgewood on top of everything else coming through.
“For one person to make that decision (Cllr Johanna Howell, who is one of the two councillors for Frant and Wadhurst) and the impact that it is going to have in Ridgewood is absolutely disgusting.”
Cllr Helen Firth, a town councillor who is also a member of Wealden planning north, apologised to the town council for failing to get the application refused.
Cllr Gary Johnson, also a town councillor and member of PCN said the approval of Gladman’s application for Eastbourne Road was “disappointing”.
He said: “I went into it thinking we would never push this away because of the timing it came forward.
“It was recommended for approval by planning (officers) and I honestly didn’t think we had a chance.
“Obviously, I cannot vote because it is my area but we actually got a 5-5 result and it only went though because the chair of planning cast the deciding vote which unfortunately went against us.”
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