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Watercress Field Appeal News

Park Lane Homes appeal over the first Reserve matters application (October 2020) (which was refused) has been validated.

Residents now have the opportunity to object to appeal. Our group has decided not to conduct a campaign because the community has already made its views well known during the following attempts to build on the field:

  • June 2018        The detailed planning application      Application refused

  • March 2019     Park Lane Homes (South-East) Ltd appeals    Appeal dismissed

  • October 2020  Reserve matters application (The application the appeal relates to) Application refused. Park Lane Homes (South-East) Ltd appealed the decision.

  • February 2021 An identical reserve matters application submitted, which extended the time limits for the original grant of planning permission. Later minor alterations were made. 502 people objected to the application on the Rother Portal. No one supported it. (Decision awaited)

Our group suggests if you want to object you can simply say the views of the community are well known and point out the endless the repeat applications.

Burwash Neighbourhood plan to be challenged in the High Court

Russell Beswick’s company, Park Lane Homes (South-East) is still seeking to put houses
on Watercress Field.

The company’s latest activity is to take Rother District Council to the High Court to
quash their decision that the Burwash Neighbourhood plan satisfied the required basic
conditions for neighbourhood plans. The plan awaits a referendum by the electors of
Burwash. The real challenge is that the plan does not designate Watercress Field for

Burwash: Save our Fields is seeking to take part in the proceeding by applying to the
High Court to be an ‘Interested Party’.

For more information, please contact the group.

Field near Ghyll Farm, Heathfield Road, Burwash, TN19 7LF (near Judins)

Although the estate agent does not say the field is suitable for housing, the price and a
proposed 30% claw back, if planning permission granted within 10 years of any sale,
indicates the owner is treating the land as ‘hope land’.

Watercress Field - Submission by Burwash: Save Our Fields

Burwash: Save Our Fields have published our updated submission in regards to Park Lane's repeat reserved matter application - Watercress Fields


Our submission - Click here

Watercress Field - Closing Date to Object 27th May 2021

The pink notice has gone up at Watercress Field dated 16th April 2021. This mean we have 21 days to object to the new reserved matters application. Although this new application is almost identical to the last, everyone who objected before must do so again. This has now been extended to 27th May 2021.


To object - Click Here

Park Lane Tries Again!

Park Lane Homes has submitted another reserved matters application to Rother District Council in regards to Watercress Field. It is identical to the one that was rejected in February by 13 votes to 1. It was submitted before the 3-year expiry date of the outline planning permission that was granted in March 2018, and therefore appears only to be a ploy to keep that permission active.

See the planning application - Click Here

Watercress Field Reserved Matter Application Defeated

Park Lane Homes were left red-faced yet again as the Rother District Councillors voted 13-1 to refuse the reserved matters planning application for Watercress Field. The only councillor to vote not to refuse the application was Cllr Sam Coleman. The main reasons to refuse the application was destruction of the AONB, and inadequate access.

Burwash: Save Our Fields Publishes Revised Objection to the Watercress Fields Development

We have recently published our revised objection to the Watercress Fields development. It has been submitted to and accepted by Rother District Council.

You can read the updated objection here - Click Here

Ashwood Nursing Home site, Burwash Common

Nick Collins Green of Artemis Design and Build, has applied for planning permission to build four flats and eight houses on the Ashwood corner site. This is two houses less than the proposal made during the consultation process.

RR/2020/1798/P - Rother District Council validated the application on 26th November 2020
and all the documents can be viewed on the Rother website. To view the documents and make your comments - Click Here


Although the original date for a decision on this application is stated as 25th January 2021, because of Covid 19 restrictions there have been a lot of administrative delays and we do not have a new set of final dates for submissions  and decisions.

Burwash Parish Council will be considering this application at their next planning meeting at 7pm on 25th January and are hoping to advertise that residents will be able to attend to make their views known and listen to others.

The meeting will be open to all by Zoom and the invitation will be found on the parish website nearer the time.

Burwash: Save our Fields held their consultation exercise when the last set of plans were revealed and would welcome views on the application.

The High Weald AONB Unit Objects to Strand Meadow

The High Weald have objected to the Strand Meadow development, based on several matters. They say the site cannot accommodate 30 dwellings without causing considerable harm to the character of the AONB.

Read the full objection letter here

Russell Beswick again tries to destroy Watercress Field, off Strand Meadow

The residents of Strand Meadow and nearby face another attempt to destroy Watercress Field, an ancient field in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, for profit. The plan is for 30 houses with the 40% affordable home pledge broken.


Click here to help to fight the scheme

Huw Merriman MP Meets our Working Group

Huw Merriman MP met our working group on Zoom on the 6th November 2020,. The meeting was very productive.

Read the meeting notes here

Government Planning Proposals

A working group has been set up to publicise the changes, encourage people to comment on the proposals and make representations to central government. The group members include representatives from Etchingham Parish Council, Burwash Parish Council and Ticehurst Parish Council.

Document - Understanding the threat the proposals pose

Document - Comments on the proposals

The Bell, Burwash High Street

The group passed the following motion unanimously:

‘There should be no change of use granted to the owners of The Bell to permit the ancient and important building at the centre of Burwash to be turned into housing units. Everything should be done to stop Burwash High Street turning into just a dormitory. Burwash High Street should remain a social centre. Planning authorities should not cave into grot spot blackmail.’

For history of the building - Click here

Burwash Conservation Area

The group is to make an application for the Burwash Conservation Area to be extended both at the westerly end and at the easterly end.


They have drafted a paper for the Parish Council which invites the Council to be a co-applicant for the extensions. The group looks forward to working with various groups and individuals to achieve the extensions.


For the current map Click here
For the group's appraisal click here

The Glebe Site and the Parish Council

The Planning Committee of the Parish Council has recommended that The Glebe is not a suitable site. The full meeting of the Parish Council considered this recommendation and decided what advice should be given to the owner of the site. The meeting was held on Zoom on Tuesday 12th May 2020

The Glebe site and the consultation exercise

The group considered the comments received about The Glebe housing proposal. The group
then decided to oppose development at The Glebe field site.

New Housing in Burwash

The group has always believed that because Burwash is a ridge top village, it is difficult to find sites for housing. Further new developments must meet local housing need. In Burwash, that is homes a) for the elderly to downsize and b) for young people which they can afford. For the latter this generally means social housing.


On Saturday 2 nd May 2020, at a Zoom meeting of the group the following motion was passed.


The group would welcome housing schemes for the Ashwood site, the Higher Nature site
and the Oakleys’ site. They would consider any other site where development would not
harm the AONB.

Transcript of the planning meeting about The Glebe available

Members of the group have written a transcript for the planning meeting on 21st April 2020, where Graham Fifield (the planning consultant) and George Arthur (the owner) described the proposed housing scheme at The Glebe. The two also answered questions.

Document - The transcript

Planning meeting about the new housing at the Glebe

On 21 April 2020, the Planning Committee of Burwash Parish Council held their meeting with Graham Fifield (the planning consultant) and George Arthur (the owner) at The Glebe. Graham Fifield read out his power point presentation, see below. The meeting was a virtual meeting, by Zoom. Members of the public were able to join the meeting. The meeting was a fact-finding exercise with questions and comments afterwards. The meeting was adjourned to enable the community to consider the scheme. On a future date, when the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, there will be a public meeting for the public to make comments and for the councillors to decide their view on the scheme.

Document - Graham Fifield - PowerPoint Presentation 

Document - Assessment of The Glebe

The Glebe track might be older than we thought

The group has discovered that the first entry of the East Sussex Historic Environment Record for Burwash is for an axe found at or near the A265 exit of the ancient track in The Glebe field where the new housing is proposed. The axe was an ‘early Bronze Age copper straight-sided flat axe’. Early Bronze age is 3300-2100 BC. The group will look for more information about this find.

The proposed new housing at The Glebe and the Burwash Neighbourhood Plan

The planning committee of Burwash Parish Council has decided not to consider the proposed housing at The Glebe in the Neighbourhood Plan process as the final draft is ready for submission to the authorities. They will consider the proposed house as a pre-planning matter. 

Document - Submission for pre-application advice - Burwash Parish Council

Consultation about the proposed housing at The Glebe

The group is conducting a consultation exercise about The Glebe. It is currently discussing the issue with it's core group members. The consultation exercise has now started, and you can add a comment by clicking here.


Rother District Council has issued the changes to its planning procedures so they conform with the Government’s Covid-19 instruction. It includes a ban on any new consultation periods with the community, which in effect means no new planning can go beyond the Council’s initial consideration process.


Click here for more details

Proposals for 22 new houses near The Glebe, Burwash

George Arthur of The Glebe in Burwash has applied for pre-application advice from Rother District Council about 22 new houses in his field. The field is on the left of the A265 as you enter Burwash village from Etchingham at 30 mph sign.

For more details click here

Ashwood Application

There has been an application for housing at the Ashwood Nursing Home site. For the details, see our page here: Ashwood Development

For now there are limited details, but it is not an outline or detailed planning application, but merely a Permission in Principle application. We know the proposed development will be approximately 7-9 units. We anticipate the community will support housing here as it is a brownfield site and it is turning into a grot spot. More details in the coming days/weeks.

Request for access to Watercress Field.

We recently requested access to the field to conduct an independent review in respect to ecology, soil and piling, as these are important considerations. This access was bluntly denied by Park Lane, which says more about Park Lane's attitude to the local community than perhaps the author of their email intended. You can read our email and the reply below.

Document - Our Request

Document - Reply from Park Lane

Watercress Field - off Strand Meadow

A consultation with the village was held on Wednesday 8th January 2020 where the draft plans were on display.

Document - The architect's presentation

Document - Response from Burwash Save our Fields

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