A Google Earth image showing land top left, next to the Temple Grove Care Home car park where five houses could have been built.

‘Unsound’ Temple Grove planning decision is overturned

Permission to build five houses on land opposite the Temple Grove Care Home in Five Ash Down has been withdrawn nearly a year after being approved.

Wealden councillors resolved to approve the proposal in April 2018, subject to conditions, but that decision has now been described as “unsound” and permission has been refused.

A report to the council’s planning committee north which met last week said the conditions attached to approval had not progressed and the original assessment of the plan did not comply with updated provisions in the Submission Local Plan 2019.

“Most unfortunate”

The report said that “whilst most unfortunate” for the applicant and agent, it was nonetheless appropriate to bring the case back to committee to be apprised in the context of the emerging strategy and policies.

Fundamental changes to the case assessment included combination impacts on the Ashdown Forest and material considerations justifying breach to the development boundary.

“It has been demonstrated that the residential development proposed is contrary to Local Plan Policies … Development should be refused unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Considerations

“In April 2018 the material considerations were a combination of the National Planning Policy Framework, poor land supply, and weight afforded to the demolition of the medical centre, and the off-setting of the vehicle trips from that use.

“Since then the National Planning Police Framework has changed and the Emerging Wealden Local Plan has been subject of further evidence, and also been submitted for Examination.

“The Ashdown Forest Transport Model has been published and this no longer recognises trip-trading.”

Conflict

The report concludes: “Balancing the conflict with the local plan policies set against the other material considerations it is recommended that planning permission be withheld.

“This is primarily because the scheme is in an unsustainable location and does not meet the needs of groups with specific housing requirements for smaller dwellings in rural areas. There are also in combination impacts on the Ashdown Forest which cannot be mitigated.”

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