Plans have been submitted to build nine homes on the site of Charlwood Manor in Snatts Road, Uckfield.
Permission has already been given for five homes there and documents with the latest application say that, on the face of it, given that new development in the countryside is proposed the proposals should be refused.
But they argue that other material considerations of overriding weight in the planning balance do exist in favour of granting permission in this instance.
One is the existence of the planning permission for five homes and the other is that the development “would make a small, but nevertheless welcome, contribution to the overall housing land supply”.
The existing planning permission would see five homes built in a courtyard style development with detached dwellings being close to each other.
A planning statement with the new plan says the nine proposed would be on larger detached plots allowing a greater sense of openness on the site.
“The scheme also maintains a significant area of open land and trees to the north of the site and is considered to continue to represent density development that is in keeping with the density of development in the area.
“In terms of the impact of the change in built form on the appearance of the site from outside the site the scheme ensures that the existing boundary treatments will be retained, and a landscaping condition can secure further screening.
“Overall in respect of layout the proposed scheme is considered to continue to respect the character of the area.”
At the moment Charlwood Manor is accessed, to the west of the site, by a drive from Snatts Road which leads to a parking area to the front of the manor. There is also a small bungalow to the north of the manor house.
Those buildings would be demolished and five new homes would have direct access to a main access road, approved under a previous scheme, that circles a copper beech tree on the site. Four further homes would have a shared access to the road.
The homes would be of a mixed size, but all would have detached garages and large rear gardens extending to the boundaries of the site.
Lack of housing land
The planning statement concludes that because of the council’s lack of a five years’ supply of housing land – and the approach to be taken to that in the National Planning Policy Framework – planning permission should be granted unless “any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies (in the NPPF) taken as a whole”.
The statement continues: “This site already has the benefit of an extant planning permission for five dwellings. The application proposal creates a scheme of high quality design which is respectful of the countryside setting.
“The proposal provides appropriate development at the site in the urban area of Uckfield and would thus make a contribution to the present housing shortfall.”