Developer: Park Lane Homes(SE) ltd., St Leonards-on-Sea, TN37 6RL
Current Status: Application REFUSED, Appeal DISMISSED
25th July 2019 - Appeal dismissed by planning inspector
1st March 2019 - Appeal lodged by Park Lane
22nd January 2019 - Application for 30 units WITHOUT affordable housing was refused unanimously by Rother District Council
28th June 2018 - Application was made for 30 units WITHOUT affordable housing
7th March 2018 - Application for 30 units including affordable housing was approved with conditions. Section 106 was signed
27th July 2017 - Consent was given subject to the imposition of conditions and the satisfactory prior completion of Section 106 (Section 106 is a legal commitment to build and fulfil the requirements of the social housing element).
Planning permission was originally sought by Park Lane Group for 17 units, with 40% of them affordable. A section 106 agreement was signed by Park Lane to that effect, signifying their commitment to providing affordable homes. Rother District Council approved this application.
Park Lane then submitted a new application to increase the number of units to 30, again with a mix of full-price and affordable housing. Rother District Council approved this plan as well.
Burwash: Save Our Fields has campaigned in the meantime to raise awareness in the local community, and succeeded in generating over 400 objections to the scheme, with no-one in approval.
In June 2018, Park Lane then submitted an application to build 30 homes without the affordables. Their reasoning was that with affordable homes, the project wasn't viable. In January 2019 the council refused this plan unanimously, on grounds that the affordables were needed and the poor design of the houses.
Park Lane appealed against this decision, and after further campaigning by Burwash: Save Our Fields, the appeal was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate on 25th July 2019. The inspector’s main reason for refusal was ‘the effect on the character, and appearance and of the AONB’.
His report said: “The three-storey buildings present a rather abrupt edge to the village and an architectural style, form and scale unsympathetic to the rural landscape character. The proposed dwellings would include large areas of glazing and details unrelated to the locality or the building traditions of the wider landscape. This would result in a hard, semi-urban appearance.
“Accordingly, the proposal would not enhance the architectural quality of the village or the High Weald.
The inspector also considered ‘the design had not been tested through any form of design review or any concerted effort to work up a design with the local community’.
Read the full report here: