Decision due on 65-home Ninfield development

Proposals for a major housing development in Ninfield are set to go before Wealden planners next week. 

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 5:19 pm
Indicative layout of the proposed Ninfield development

On Thursday (December 2), Wealden District Council’s planning committee south is set to consider an outline application to build up to 65 homes on land off of Bexhill Road.

The greenfield site falls outside of Ninfield’s development boundary and, as a result, goes against council planning policy. However, the scheme is recommended for approval by Wealden planning officers.

In a report to be considered by the committee, a Wealden planning officer said: “With adequate mitigation in terms of design and form of the proposed dwellings, combined with retaining the existing planting and supplementing this, the public benefits of providing a mixture of market, affordable and custom and self build units to the council’s housing stock would outweigh the development boundary breach and loss of openness of the site. 

“Following robust assessment by ESCC Highways, the site would not result in any highway safety concerns. Potential below ground heritage can be controlled by conditions as advocated by ESCC archaeology. 

“The mitigation measures for arboriculture impacts and ecological impacts would ensure the protection of rare species and these details can be secured by planning condition.

“Further work is required in regard to drainage but that is not uncommon for a scheme lodged in outline and proposing multi stage consent. There are controls available at the reserved matters stage as informed by planning conditions that will ensure the development does not cause flooding on or off site and indeed secures betterment. 

“It is therefore concluded the proposal would comply with local and national development plan policies and it is recommended for approval, subject to a s106 agreement and conditions.”

While recommended for approval, the scheme has proven to be controversial among Ninfield residents. 

The council has received 30 objections to the proposals, which cover a range of concerns, including highways safety, ecological impact and pressures on local infrastructure.

A number of residents also raised concerns around the loss of the greenfield farming land to development.

As an outline scheme, developer Gladman is only seeking permission for the principle of development and access, with all other details to be determined at a later date. 

Although the exact mix of housing is among these undetermined details, the developer says 23 units would be affordable.

The proposed access would connect to Bexhill Road and with the development to include new bus stops to serve the estate.

For further details of the proposals see application reference WD/2021/2454/MAO on the Wealden District Council website.