Bexhill homes development gets go-ahead

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Developers have won an appeal against Rother District Council’s refusal to grant permission to build new homes in Little Common.

The plans for the housing development south of Barnhorn Road and west of the Ashridge Court in Bexhill were originally refused by council planners in June last year.

But an inspector from HM Planning Inspectorate ruled on Friday (November 23) that the development could go ahead.

When the plans were first submitted in 2016 developers sought outline planning permission to build the new homes on the greenfield site, not specifying the exact number of houses, although supporting documents put forward designs for around 31.

In June 2017, the council’s planning committee said the site fell outside of Bexhill’s agreed development boundary and would result in the ‘permanent loss of an open site that has a rural character’.

But the planning inspector said in a report: “I have concluded the site would not fully qualify as a sustainable location but there would be a genuine choice of travel modes, and the development would promote sustainable travel modes that limit future car use so that harm arising from its peripheral location would be moderated.

“There would be harm to the landscape character and appearance of the area but it would be limited.

“That same landscape effect would have some limited effect on the setting of a listed building but no harm to the significance of the heritage asset would ensue.

“There would be no unacceptable effect on highway safety. The benefits of housing provision would be small but at a time of local shortage likely to endure for up to a decade to come.

“It remains a government objective that the supply of homes is significantly boosted and so this benefit is sufficient to outweigh the limited harm which would result from breach of those development plan polices which seek to protect the countryside and direct development to sustainable locations.”

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