A planning appeal against refusal of permission to build a convenience store in the grounds of the Highlands Inn, Uckfield, will be dealt with by written representations.
Wealden Council argued in favour of a hearing so that local residents and concerned people could air their views before a Government inspector but that request has been turned down.
The planning inspectorate has also ruled, following a screening process, that the development is unlikely to have significant effects on the environment by virtue of factors such as its nature, size or location.
A letter from the inspectorate to Wealden Council says: “There is potential for adverse impacts relating to natural resource use, waste production, risk of accidents, pollutant emissions, emissions of noise, and light, together with visual impacts and impacts on transport and ecology.
“However impacts are likely to be relatively limited in scale and generally restricted to the local area.
“Adherence to standard legislation and guidelines and other potential/committed mitigation measures also mean that significant residual effects on the environment are unlikely.”
Documents setting out the appeal case for the convenience store – previously said to be for a Morrisons Local – can be seen on the Wealden Council website. They have been submitted by Spirit Pub Company and PH Land and Developments.
They said reasons used by Wealden Council to refuse planning permission were considered to be “without any legitimate planning basis”.
They said the decision was “based on unsupported supposition and non-planning matters following an extensive ‘anti-competition’ campaign.
They add: “It is therefore considered that the application was refused by members for political rather than planning reasons.”
Wealden Council has withdrawn two of its reasons for refusal of the application which related to retail and to highways and parking.
But the council says the scheme “falls considerably short of the relevant policy and associated guidance on design and appearance” and it intends to vigorously defend this aspect of the refusal.
For those that want to participate in the appeal submissions are required by the planning inspectorate by March 5. If that deadline is met the comments will be considered by the inspector.
The Planning Inspectorate has an on-line comment portal and to use that you would need to register on the site – there is no fee. Go to https://acp.planningportal.
Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Reference details are:
Appellant/Applicant Spirit Pub Company & PH Land and Developments
Highlands Inn, Eastbourne Road