Proposals to replace some buildings in Buxted with several smaller dwellings have been turned down not only by Wealden’s planning committee but also now by a Government-appointed planning inspector.
Two applications which were rejected by councillors have now been thrown out on appeal.
“This is excellent news and the inspector’s verdict vindicates our local decision to reject the applications at committee”, says Conservative councillor Johanna Howell who chairs Planning Committee North in Wealden. “We are grateful to our highly-experienced team of dedicated planning officers who worked hard to support us when we had made a decision based on material planning considerations.”
The news comes in the wake of a highly-critical statement from Buxted Parish Council about Wealden’s planning process.
“In Wealden, as elsewhere, we have to work to national planning regulations and a host of other legislation”, explains Councillor Ann Newton the Conservative council leader. “We need to be mindful of fiction and, indeed, fantasy, when carefully considering all applications coming before the authority to do the very best for the residents who elected us.”
The inspector considered the two appeals for proposed development at Moorings in Buxted High Street but considered that the scheme would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area. He added that “the adverse impacts of the proposals would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits”.
In his decision, Mr Kirby also made reference to his colleague's decision to dismiss an earlier appeal to create a slightly larger development on the site. He spoke of the proximity of neighbouring properties, saying that the new homes would “be likely to significantly erode the appreciation nearby occupants have of the quality of the environment within which they live.”