Details of 40-home Polegate development set to receive thumbs up

Greenleaf Gardens, artist's impression
Greenleaf Gardens, artist's impression

Wealden planners are set to decide on an application to build 40 homes near Polegate at a committee hearing later this week.

On Thursday (November 8), Wealden District Council’s planning committee is expected to consider a reserved matters application to build 40 dwellings on a site to the west of Greenleaf Gardens on the northern edge of Polegate.

While the scheme has already been granted outline planning permission, the proposals have proven controversial among Polegate residents, with planners receiving 27 letters of objection and representations from the town council.

Among other criticisms, the objections include fears the development would cause flooding issues, potentially disrupt a public right of way and see a number of high quality ash and oak trees uprooted.

Despite these concerns, the scheme is still recommended for approval in a report by Wealden planning officers. The report said: “Overall the development would make a significant contribution to the housing needs, within Polegate and the wider district and it is considered that the detailed design of the development is of a high standard, not at odds with the prevailing character in this part of Polegate.

“The loss of high grade trees is regrettable, but unfortunately somewhat inevitable in light of the appeal decision from 2014.

“Providing the Local Lead Flood Authority confirm their holding objection is addressed and the resolution of the planting conflict with the bridleway, it recommended that the reserved matters be approved.”

Polegate Town Council has also raised concerns about the proposals. According to the minutes of a meeting of the town council’s advisory planning committee, councillors raised concerns about the risk of flooding and water drainage.

The town council also raised concerns about the loss of trees and the number of vehicles accessing the site during construction.

In its representation to Wealden, a town council spokesman said: “The development would have a negative effect on the appearance of the local area. It is in a greenfield area, which is visible from the Cuckoo Trail, a local walking and cycling route.

“This development would negatively affect the beauty of the countryside and surrounding wildlife. It would change a semi-rural area into a more urban one.

“It would also possibly be detrimental to anyone living in the new development if the application were allowed as it is next to the bypass and would be very noisy.

“The inevitable removal of trees would also affect the nearby houses already there by the increase in noise from the road.”

For further details see application reference WD/2018/1122/MRM on the Wealden District Council planning website.