Little Common development attracts more than 1,500 objections

Spindlewood Drive
Spindlewood Drive

Highly controversial proposals for a major housing development at Little Common are set to be considered by Rother planners next week.

On Thursday (February 14), Rother District Council planners are set to consider an outline application to build up to 160 homes on greenfield land to the south of Spindlewood Drive in Little Common.

While details of the proposals are sparse – with all matters other than its access via Spindlewood Drive and Barnhorn Road left to come further down the line – the application is recommended for approval subject to s.106 agreements.

In a report recommending approval, a Rother planning officer said: “Development here would make a significant contribution towards the district meeting it housing delivery requirement of at least 5,700 new dwellings net during the local plan period (2011-2028) in a sustainable location for new housing provision.

“The proposed development would not cause unacceptable harm to the residential amenities of neighbouring properties subject to detailed design and measures to be secured through a legal agreement.”

While recommended for approval, the application has proven highly controversial among residents of Bexhill and Little Common.

According to an officer’s report, Rother planners have received more than 1,500 letters objecting to the proposals.

The objections raise a host of different concerns about a developments impact on traffic and local infrastructure, with particular concerns raised about congestion on the A259 and the use of Barnhorn Road as a second site access.

A wide range of ecological concerns have also been raised by objectors due to the site’s proximity to the Pevensey Levels Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Despite these concerns, Natural England has not submitted an objection but requests ecological protections are built into any future planning conditions for the site.

In a letter to planners, a spokesman for the government body said: “While Natural England considers that mitigation measures are available to address the issues raised by the proposal, there are still a number of uncertainties that need to be resolved.

“This is necessary for an appropriate assessment to be able to determine, beyond reasonable scientific doubt, that an adverse effect on Pevensey Levels will be avoided.”

The application site has a long history of planning applications for residential development, most recently a refused application for part of the site in 1999.

A decision on the outline application is set to be made at a meeting on February 14.  For further details see application reference RR/2017/1705/P on the Rother District Council planning website.