After five years of consultations with the local community of Maresfield, housebuilder David Wilson Homes has submitted its much-modified plans to Wealden District Council for permission for a low-density development of 170 new houses together with an extensive range of improved facilities for the whole village.
The land is behind the recreation ground and close to Park Farm.
Homes and businesses in Maresfield had illustrated details of the planning application delivered on Friday,March 11.
The development proposed brings with it real benefits for the village. There will be approximately £2 million for education, traffic and transport, and other needs, much of it to be spent on local infrastructure.
But new funding does not stop there.
As part of the government’s new incentives to local communities to accept development, the project is estimated to provide £1.7 million to match-fund the council tax raised by the new homes over six years.
This “New Homes Bonus” is designed to be spent on local priorities.
A village-wide traffic-calming scheme was the issue raised most during the various stages of public consultation.
Direct benefits for the whole village and embodied in the masterplan include extension of the recreation ground and almost 12 acres of open meadow land for leisure and recreation, and as a wildlife habitat, with a central pond.
Everyone will have a right of access and be able to reach the land via extra footpaths and cycleways created through the new development.
New resources for the whole village will include a large area of fertile, well-drained allotments to meet existing and future demand, and a recycling facility to help all residents of the village to participate easily in recycling.
Speaking for David Wilson Homes, strategic projects director John McLean said: “Villagers have been given a voice about a key development and have used it to help shape the future of the village.
“We have responded directly to feedback, and although not all opinions agree with each other, our plans balance local priorities with the pressing need for new homes that we intend to satisfy – almost a third of them classified as ‘affordable’ and aimed at local young families.”
The application is for outline planning permission, the detail to be added later, but David Wilson Homes has made it clear that the development will be of energy-efficient family homes with a mix of 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-bedroom houses.
Their elevations and how they are arranged will show the kind of variation typical of a village that has grown organically over time. John McLean added: “In its links, layout, style and make-up it will be well-integrated with the village today.
“It could bring a windfall for improvements equivalent to £5,000 for every household.
“It will be a development we – and Maresfield – can be proud of.”
Uckfield News story: Plans for 170 homes in Maresfield