Decision due on cottage plans


Unpopular plans to demolish an historic cottage and replace it with a block of flats are due to be discussed by councillors on Thursday (January 21).

So far, 105 people have written to Rother District Council to object to the outline application to demolish The Lodge, a thatched cottage on Collington Rise, at the junction with Pinewoods, and replace it with six flats and parking spaces.

Objectors say there are already parking issues in the area and approval would exacerbate the problem.

They also expressed concerns about access for emergency vehicles if more cars end up parking along surrounding narrow streets.

Others lamented the loss of an historic property, arguing The Lodge, one of only three thatched dwellings remaining in the town, should be listed and protected.

The cottage was built in 1927 as a gardener’s cottage associated with the more substantial Thatched 76 House on Pinewoods and was part of the Sainsbury Estate.

There are also fears the development would harm local wildlife, including a colony of bats believed to roost in the thatched roof. One objector commissioned a report from the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre which identified protected and other wildlife species within a 500m radius of the application site.

Other objections include overdevelopment, a lack of affordable housing, loss of privacy and noise pollution.

It is the second time in seven months that permission has been sought for the development.

A planning application for seven flats on the site was submitted to the council back in May. It was withdrawn two months later.

A report submitted with the new bid says it seeks to address concerns raised previously. Planning officers have recommended outline planning permission is granted, subject to conditions.