Ninfield homes proposal is deferred

Protestors outside Wealden's offices
Protestors outside Wealden's offices
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A decision into the future of a proposal to build 55 new homes in Ninfield has been deferred to a later date.

Forest Row-based developers Rydon Homes has applied to Wealden District Council to build six one-bedroom flats, 13 two-bed bedroom homes, 22 three-bedroom homes, and 14 four-bedroom homes at Ingrams Farm.

Councillors on the authority’s planning committee discussed the application last Thursday (May 28) and decided to defer making a final decision, much to the relief of objectors from Ninfield Action Group (NAG).

Residents against the plans say the scheme will overdevelop the village.

Samantha Guard, from NAG, said: “Ninfield parish councillors, the action group and residents, while disappointed not to get the refusal, are thankful for this decision and look forward to meeting the committee on site, presenting yet more information against the proposal, and showing the planning committee that Ninfield is not the right place for a new housing estate.

“The village has just under 530 houses within it and a development of 55 new homes is an increase to the village of more than 10 per cent. This proposed development is not sustainable and the fact that there is very limited employment in our small village.

“There is a flood risk. Every resident knows how the water cascades down from the mini roundabout, past dwellings ‘Four Winds’ and ‘Maybank’, down the A269 and Lower Street, occasionally flowing into residents’ front gardens and into their homes. The field in question for this application is waterlogged for four months of the year. There are underground springs within the vicinity that become ‘drowned’ by excess rain and therefore flood outwards underground.”

She added there was a danger of speeding traffic and the village primary school was at capacity.

She said: “This year, the school has had to turn five Ninfield village children away, as there is no room for them to come. There is no room for extension of the school so where will the children of the 55 houses at Ingrams go to school?

“The site has been given ‘national importance’ status due to the number and varied species of slow-worm, grass snake, bats and great crested newt. The site at Ingrams had evidence of Iron Age/ Roman remains and the county council archaeologists were definite in their demand for a complete site clearance with all finds listed and archived to happen before any proposed development.”

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