Update on Saturday, February 13: Plans for 25 new homes to be built on land between the Park Farm development, Maresfield, and the A22, have been approved.
Members of Wealden Council’s planning committee, north, approved the scheme at a meeting on Thursday.
Councllors welcomed the low housing density proposed, generous parking provision and offer of 35% affordable housing.
See a podcast of the discussion about the planning application on the Wealden Council website here.
Our original story on Thursday, February 11: Twenty-five new homes could be built on land between the Park Farm development, Maresfield, and the A22.
A planning application has been submitted by Rydon Homes who are also proposing that a second parcel of land on the other side of Park Farm be used as public open space with allotments and ancillary car parking.
Wealden officers are recommending approval of the plan with conditions that include:
Securing a financial contribution towards the provision of SANGS and SAMMS to mitigate the impact of the development on the Ashdown Forest.
- Securing the provision of 35% affordable homes
- Securing the provision of outdoor playing space and amenity together with a mechanism for their future maintenance
- Securing a financial contribution toward the provision of county council services, including secondary places and rights of way improvements within the vicinity of the site.
The field proposed for recreational use, described as Parcel A, extends to 1.7 hectares to the north of Rolling Mill to the south of a conservation area.
It is screened by trees and hedgerows and is broadly flat with a public footpath crossing the site roughly north-south connecting the churchyard to the north to the wider footpath network to the south of the site and beyond.
Parcel B, which is proposed for housing, is to the south west of Bloomery Way, also generally flat and fenced on all four boundaries by post and barbed wire fence.
Access to this land is by way of two field gates, one from the Park Farm development at Bloomery Way and the other at the south east corner of the site.
To the south of the site is an earth bund and screening beyond which runs the A22.
A report to Wealden councillors says the application lies within open countryside and has been advertised as a ‘departure’ application.
But the report says the village development boundary must be considered to be out of date and since the council cannot currently demonstrate a five-year housing land supply the proposals should be approved “unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits”.
“Having assessed all aspects of the scheme, the considerable benefits of the scheme are not outweighed by the modest impacts the development would impose, following adequate mitigation.”
Maresfield Parish Council has supported the application, subject to recommendations and conditions, but 60 letters of objection have been received from local residents saying:
- Access to the development is poor
- The road through the existing estate is already dangerous
- Any decision now is premature and should wait for the Neighbourhood Plan to run its course
- Access should be permanently made from the A22
- Insufficient parking within the neighbouring site and this proposed development
- The roads within the Park Farm estate are ‘private’
- Impact on the Ashdown Forest
- The allotments may be unsightly
- The plans are not accurate
- Concerns around the car park for the open space near the existing children’s playground
- There are other better sites in the area
- Construction access onto the A22 is unsafe
Members of Wealden Council’s planning committee north are due to make a decision about the planning application today.