This is why Bexhill Spindlewood Drive 160 homes development has got the go-ahead

Developers behind proposals for a major housing scheme in Bexhill have won their appeal against refusal by Rother District Council (RDC).

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 11:54 am

A hearing was held by the Planning Inspectorate from June 29 to July 2, with the decision announced yesterday (Tuesday, July 27).

The appeal was launched after developers were refused planning permission by RDC to build 160 new homes on land off Spindlewood Drive in Little Common in March last year.

Last October the council’s cabinet also agreed to set aside up to £150,000 to cover potential costs of a planning appeal related to the development.

Campaigners from the SPINDAG group. Taken in February 2019. SUS-190214-113612001

Graham Stone, who launched Spindlewood Development Action Group (SPINDAG) to fight against the proposals, said: “The Planning Inspectorate has advised SPINDAG that following last month’s public inquiry the inspector has decided to allow the appeal. This means that outline planning permission has now been granted for residential development of circa 160 dwellings with all matters reserved other than access.

“While we are all very disappointed by this result it is important to remember that approval has been given only for access and that all other matters such as layout, design, drainage and so on have still to be considered and agreed by RDC Planning Committee at a future date.

“Until this crucial point has been reached and full agreement given, not only by our local authority but also by all relevant statutory authorities, no construction can commence.

“SPINDAG has been vigorously campaigning against this planning application since it was submitted four years ago. We shall continue to oppose this application.”

While the site in Little Common had been allocated for development within RDC’s local plan, the committee in March 2020 chose to refuse planning permission for the scheme on the grounds it was unclear whether the proposals could avoid an adverse impact to the Pevensey Levels Special Area of Conservation (SAC). These related to landscape and drainage concerns.

RDC’s decision to refuse planning permission was taken despite strong advice from its planning officers, legal team and a representative of Natural England, who said conditions would prevent development moving ahead unless detailed mitigation measures could be approved.

Following yesterday’s appeal decision, a report by the Planning Inspectorate said: “This is an outline scheme and the detail included at both application and appeal stages demonstrates that there would be no adverse impacts on the qualifying features of the Pevensey Levels SAC.”