Planners turn down proposal for 30 new homes in Herstmonceux

Herstmonceux Hailsm Road A271 January 4th 2013 E02012P
Herstmonceux Hailsm Road A271 January 4th 2013 E02012P

Plans to build 30 homes in Herstmonceux have been rejected by district planners.

Members of Wealden District Council turned down the application on the grounds it failed to address infrastructure concerns and lacked affordable housing to meet the needs of the area.

Applicants Barratt Southern Counties is reviewing the plans before deciding whether to appeal the decision.

The plans to build 30 homes with associated garaging, car parking and landscaping and the demolition of a house on James Avenue to pave the way for a new access to serve the site was turned down by district planners on April 4.

The refusal was welcomed by residents who are currently writing a neighbourhood plan to outline concerns and hopes for the future of the village.

Darren Simpson, who is helping to write Herstmonceux Neighbourhood Plan, said the decision was the result they were looking for.

He said, “We were objecting because of the number of houses and they way it looked and the fact there seemed to be no real thought gone into it regarding how it would impact the area.

“We understand there’s got to be 70 houses built in Herstmonceux in the next 15 years under government guidelines, and so as part of that government backed scheme we are writing a parish local plan to outline what residents feel the parish needs most.

“If we finish the plan it may outline that the area proposed by Barratt is the right one for building on. But there were 79 letters of objection registered with Wealden and that shows the strength of feeling against the application in the area.

“There’s overwhelming support to produce the neighbourhood plan which Wealden councillors took on board and understand that we, as a parish, wanted to choose what type of development we have in the village.

“It’s about keeping that community feeling in the village. We are obviously happy the plan did get rejected in the form it did but we are tentative to find out what [Barratt] come with next. We are obviously a little bit worried because they tend to push things through when they decide to do something.”

Planners also felt the application was flawed because of the location, which was outside the development boundary in open countryside. It was believed this would risk prejudicing the preparation of the delivery and Site Allocations Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan by pre-determining decisions about the scale, location and phasing of new development.

The application also failed to demonstrate the site could cope with the development without resulting in an overly cramped layout including failing to provide adequate parking and children’s play space.

Nick Keeley, planning manager for Barratt Southern Counties, said, “Whilst we are disappointed about the refusal for planning for 30 new homes in Herstmonceux, we will need to await full feedback from the planning authorities before we can decide whether to amend and appeal our application.”