Olives Yard ‘unsuitable’ for homes

Homes are an unsuitable use for properties in Olives Yard, off Uckfield High Street, the town council has said.

They are objecting to two planning applications relating to Maltmead Cottage, one for the cottage itself, and another for its garden.

Maltmead Cottage and garden in Olives Yard, Uckfield

Maltmead Cottage and garden in Olives Yard, Uckfield. File photograph

The plans will be determined by Wealden District Council.

A retrospective application for Maltmead Cottage itself seeks to regularise its use as a home – the existing consent is for office use.

A document with the planning application says the original building had four offices, a kitchen and a bathroom.

“We have converted the larger office into a living room and the remaining offices into three bedrooms,” says the document.

Great shortage

It concluded that the proposed use was extremely sustainable, being adjacent to Uckfield High Street. 

“It is also a small single storey unit which there is a great shortage of in this area of Wealden District Council. 

“Our proposal will have little or no impact on the conservation area or any listed buildings as we are only changing the use of the existing building.

Objections

“There are also already many larger structures between and adjoining the conservation area which have already been approved which has a much bigger impact on the surrounding area,” the document said.

Uckfield Town Council’s plans committee decided on Monday (February 24) to object to the application.

Cllr Duncan Bennett pointed out the council had a long-standing policy of regarding retrospective applications with some “disdain”.

“I don’t believe we should treat this application differently from any others,” he said.

Cllr Jackie Love said: “It is not in a residential area. It is in a retail/office area.

Cllr Jackie Love

“It is out of keeping with the area.

“It is just not suitable to have residential in that area.”

Cllr Donna French, who chaired the committee meeting, said from what she could see the property had been used for residential for some years.

“I understand they were told back in 2015 that planning permission was required.

“I don’t understand why that was not sorted out then,” she said.

The separate application for the cottage’s garden is for a “very small single-storey bungalow”.

A similar proposal put forward last year was refused planning permission.

Uckfield Town Council object to this application on the grounds that it is an overdevelopment and unsuitable for the location. 

Impact on businesses

It has told Wealden District Council:

“Construction traffic would have an adverse impact on the businesses in Olives Yard. 

“This is an unsuitable site for residential accommodation within this popular and busy business area. 

Dangers

“We are also concerned to hear that the existing property has been let as residential when permission has not been granted for this. 

“We also have concerns that construction vehicles to the site would be impractical and could be detrimental to the yard, potentially causing damage, and there is insufficient turning area for large vehicles, leading to them having to reverse on the High Street and the dangers this would cause.”

See also:

Farewell to SID

Buxted railway station car park extension ruled out

Mansell McTaggart markets new Buxted homes

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

How to advertise on UckfieldNews.com

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