Nearby residents have voiced opposition and last night (March 25) Uckfield Town Council plans committee recommended the planning authority – Wealden District Council – to refuse the application.
Details of the application for land west of Ridgewood Manor Lodge, Lewes Road, Uckfield,were given in this earlier UckfieldNews.com story
Councillors said reasons for refusal should include drainage, sewerage, the loss of green space, poor access, over-shadowing of neighbouring properties and the consequent lack of privacy.
Cllr Duncan Bennett, deputy town mayor (Trust Independent, New Town), said historically there had been issues with this land over drainage and there were concerns over sewage disposal.
He said there was also access concerns, with the exit on to a busy road.
“We are all aware that Ridgewood Manor is empty and awaiting developments,” he said.
Committee chairman, Cllr James Anderson, Trust Independent, Uckfield North, said Uckfield was losing a lot of green land.
“We are losing too much open space and greenery in Uckfield,” he said.
Cllr Anderson also pointed out to the committee the strong line it took when faced with applications it considered to be “infilling” on the Manor Park estate and he considered this application was of a similar nature.
More than a dozen residents from neighbouring properties attended the plans committee meeting with three speaking in objection to the plans.
They pointed to the proposed development being much higher than properties below in Shepherds Gate.
One said run-off of rainwater was horrendous and the idea of a soakaway on the clay soil was “rubbish”.
This site has been the subject of a number of planning applications in last dozen years.
The committee decided to support the following applications:
- Increase in size an extension at 26 Shepherds Way, Uckfield, that was approved under reference WD/2014/2219/F.
- First-floor side extension over existing utility room to form a new bedroom at 3 Snatts Road, Uckfield.
- Proposed drop kerb outside 2 Bridge Farm Road, Uckfield, subject to county highways agreement.
- Two storey extension to side elevation and associated alterations to Flowergate, New Place, Uckfield.
- Two permanent cricket nets, Old Timbers Lane, New Town, Uckfield [Victoria Pleasure Ground].
- Minor amendments [windows] to application WD/2010/0036/F (new home and parking on rear garden areas) at land to the rear of 104-106 Framfield Road, Uckfield. Councillors were told this was an existing property with the application being concerned with putting in more windows.
The committee agreed to seek clarification from Wealden District Council over an application for a single-storey rear extension and new garage at 8 Kiln Close, Uckfield.
Councillors noted plans referred in one place to a utility room and another a dog parlour.
Wealden planning decisions
The committee was informed that the planning authority, Wealden District Council, had approved the following applications:
- Change of use from retail to residential at 17 Baxendale Way, Uckfield.
- Two storey flank/rear extension and part single-storey infill to the rear at 3 Downlands Farm Cottages, Snatts Road, Uckfield.
- Demolition of single-storey rear extension and construction of new single-storey rear extension.
- Conversion of garage into living space, first-floor extension above garage and addition of porch/wc at 2 Wares Road, Ridgewood, Uckfield.
- New signage at 77 High Street, Uckfield (Pizza Express).
- Signs for Howdens, Bell Lane, Uckfield.
Wealden District Council has decided a plan for a two-storey rear extension with associated internal alterations at 1 Cedars Close, Uckfield, constitutes permitted development.
Uckfield Town Council objected to this application on the following grounds:
- The extension would be overbearing and dominant in nature to the neighbouring property.
- The extension would cause overshadowing and loss of light to the neighbouring property.
In reply to the town council, Wealden said:
“The development is within the development boundary where there is a presumption in favour of development.
“The proposed extension would change the amenity of the neighbouring property but its effects would not be significant, which is the policy test within development boundaries.
“The scale of the development is considered proportionate to the dwelling. It is not considered that the development would have an adverse effect upon visual amenity.
“The additional habitable accommodation provided would not have a severe effect upon the existing parking situation. After a full assessment of the scheme it is not considered that there is any material planning reasons to recommend refusal of the scheme.”
Wealden District Council’s formal response to the town council over the grant of planning permission for Grants Hill House, Oaklea Way, were also put before the plans committee.
The town objected to the application on the following grounds:
- The development would be overbearing and overlooking to neighbouring properties.
- The bulk and mass of the development would be out of character with the area.
- Gross over development of the site.
- The provision of parking spaces was insufficient to the need.
Wealden District Council said: “It is considered that the development has been carefully designed to minimise its impact on neighbouring properties.
“The design is considered to be high quality, responding well to the constraints of the site.
“The parking provided within the development meets the ESCC [county council] parking standards.”
Some planning applications fall outside the town council’s cycle of plans committee meetings. After informal discussion, the committee chairman relays the council’s views to the planning authority.
*First floor rear extension and alteration at 95 Nevill Road, Uckfield. The town council supported the application but asked that during the works neighbours’ access at the rear of the property was maintained.
Note: Wealden District Council is the planning authority which makes the decisions. Uckfield Town Council is a statutory consultee.
Members of Uckfield Town Council plans committee present at the meeting were
Chair: Cllr James Anderson, Trust Independent, North
Vice-chair: Cllr Chris Macve, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Duncan Bennett, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Mick Dean, Trust Independent, New Town
Cllr Donna French, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Jackie Love, Trust Independent, North
Cllr Barry Mayhew, Liberal Democrat, New Town
Comments from Uckfield News readers
James Dixon of AJ Electrical sent a message via the Uckfield News website contact form on Tuesday, April 26 to say:
“After reading the article, ref x4 houses in Ridgewood by a local building firm, I was very disappointed to see all the negative comments .
“This project will be using local trades and local material suppliers. If these sites don’t go through it will have a negative impact on the whole of Uckfield, as trades who work in the area will not be stopping to get food or a coffee in the town on the way to work or spend money at the weekends in the local restaurants.
“Why is it large building firms can benefit from sites but not local contractors? The large companies are not the ones that use our local services. Please can you bring up the other side of this argument, you don’t only hear one party with any election.”
Guide to Uckfield area services in the Uckfield Directory