NEXT Thursday, August 22, is crunch time for a scheme that could significantly change the face of Little Common.
Rother District Council’s planning committee, meeting at Bexhill Town Hall from 9.30am, will consider an outline application from developers, Marchfield, to transform a greenfield site north of the A259 Barnhorn Road.
The bid, if approved, will start the process for Marchfield to establish 275 homes on 60 acres bordered by Oakleigh Road and Spring Lane, reaching west towards Grey Horses bend on Barnhorn Road.
The homes would be a mix of detached and semi-detached properties, town houses and flats. Also included in the scheme is 3,500 square metres of workspace - 2,750 offices and 750 industrial - which could generate up to 225 new jobs.
Gavin Stollar, of Templar Strategies, consultants to Marchfield, said: “Following feedback from local people the original proposals were amended, reducing the business area and including a new doctors’ surgery and the possibility of a new primary school.”
Developers say they will be leaving around 45 per cent of the land untouched to provide green space for new residents and existing villagers alike.
Marchfield’s Stephen Biart said: “We are delighted to finally have the opportunity for councillors to consider our plans.
“More than two years of hard work has gone into these plans with positive changes and amendments to reflect local community feedback forming the cornerstone of our plans.
“To have the degree of support we have attracted from across not only Little Common but the wider town is gratifying.
“We always described this as a ‘sensitively planned extension to Little Common’ which is exactly what I think we now have.
“Delivering new housing is a thorny issue for all local councils and we are acutely aware of this fact.
“That is why we have continued to talk to the local community throughout this process and incorporated community facilities and employment land as part of a genuinely mixed and sustainable development proposal which is in line with national planning policy.”
Anne Capon, for Sayno2barnhorngreen, the group formed to oppose the scheme in February last year, said its objections to the development remained unchanged.
It claims that proposals do not comply with the National Planning Policy Framework, Rother’s 2006-11 Local Plan or the district council’s emerging core strategy.
Extra traffic is also a major worry in the campaigners’ view, with limited access effectively creating a huge cul-de-sac feeding on to existing roads.
Council officers involved in assessing the outline plans are recommending that they should be approved.