New Polegate bungalows behind property are approved

Proposals to build housing on land behind a Polegate home have been given the go ahead by Wealden planners.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 3:58 pm

On Thursday (August 12), Wealden District Council’s planning committee south approved an application to build two three-bedroom chalet bungalows on land to the rear of a property known as Blenheim in Dittons Road. 

During the meeting, the committee heard how the property had formerly been a plant nursery, with a planning agent for the applicant saying the scheme had been designed to avoid impact on neighbours. 

However, the application had been called in by ward councillor Angela Snell (Con) due to concerns the scheme would be an overdevelopment and result in a loss of privacy for neighbours. 

The plots for the proposed new bungalows

Cllr Snell said: “About two committees ago I recall there was a development in Polegate where two properties were proposed in a rear garden, which was not passed. That is one of the reasons I called it in; fairness, if you like.  

“I do have concerns about it though and those of the committee who have visited the site will realise that it does rise very steeply from what has become a main route through Stone Cross. A very, very busy road.”

She added that she was concerned about the access arrangements and the impact of changes on the surrounding area.

Committee members felt differently however, with several saying they felt the scheme was very different from the earlier scheme mentioned by Cllr Snell. 

Cllr Bob Bowlder (Con, Horam and Punnetts Town) said he was ‘sympathetic’ to the local member’s concerns, but added:  “When I first saw this I thought this was going to be a difficult one for me, but having visited the site it actually isn’t. 

“It would be very difficult to resist this, notwithstanding the traffic issues, but when you consider what is going on in and around that area I hope, fingers crossed, it will all be integrated.”

A similar view was shared by Cllr David White (Independent, Hellingly) said: “When I first saw this I had the same reservations as Cllr Snell, but having visited the site it is quite different from the site in Polegate we looked at quite recently.

“I think it is a larger site, I think there is more distance between the proposed new dwellings and the back of the existing row of houses along Dittons Road or Rattle Road. 

“I think it would be difficult to resist this on an appeal decision, so personally I would be in favour of supporting it.” 

While there was some further discussion of details of the scheme, it was granted planning permission without any additional conditions beyond those recommended by officers. Those conditions included a one-year time limit between approval and construction. 

As part of the plans, a number of existing outbuildings in the garden would be demolished.

Each home would have two parking spaces and a garage. In a separate application, permission was granted to split Blenheim into two homes, with three parking spaces to be shared between them. 

While there would be a further unallocated parking space for visitors, a number of objectors have raised concerns about whether this would be enough space for all the properties and whether it would lead to additional parking pressure in the local area.

The existing vehicle access at Blenheim would also be widened as part of the scheme. The applicant’s agent said this was to allow emergency vehicles to access the new properties.

For further information on the proposals, see application reference WD/2021/0738/F on the Wealden District Council website.