Plans to build four new homes on the site of the old Meads Surgery in Grange Road, Uckfield, have been refused by Wealden Council.
The reason given is that the site lies within 7km of the Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area (SPA), Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The decision notice says: “Together with the nearby Wealden Heaths SPA and Thames Basin Heath SPA, Ashdown Forest forms part of a complex of heathlands in southern England that support breeding bird populations of European importance.
“The designation is principally concerned with the protection of two rare and vulnerable bird species, the nightjar and the Dartford warbler.”
The decision notice says that the proposed development would generate additional recreational pressures that would have an adverse effect on the integrity of the Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area.
The planning application, from the Thomas Scanlon Trust, sought permission to build three terraced bungalows, two with two bedrooms and one with one bedroom, on the site of the former doctors’ surgery and to convert an outbuilding at the rear of the site to a two-bedroom home.
The old Meads doctors’ surgery was demolished earlier this year after a new surgery opened at West Park, Uckfield.
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