Developers show off proposed new development next to Jubilee Fields, Heathfield

16th July

aerial view of proposed development

Red area indicates area for development with access via Ghyll Road/Tilsmore Road area

Last week, Countryside, a large developer with over 60 years’ experience, in housing developments across London, the South East, the North West of England and the West Midlands; showcased their plans for a new project next to Jubilee Fields off Ghyll Road, Heathfield. The Site is located on the south western side of Heathfield, with existing residential development adjacent to the east and to the north.

 

The site currently contains grassland, some mature trees, and hedgerow, with the western most part of the site dominated by overgrown bracken. Mature trees and dense hedgerow line the perimeter of the site, resulting in a site that is visually contained from the wider landscape.

On hand to answer questions were Leah Needham, Countryside Planning Manager, Stuart Hubert from Lloyd Bone, Landscape Architects, James Harman, Architect, Graham Wilson, Savills Planning Consultant and Adam Page, Countryside Land Buyer. The exhibition was designed to bring to life their plans ahead of the planning application for their proposed development for up to 100 new homes. This is in line with Wealden’s target for new home building contained within the Wealden Local Plan Submission made in January 2019 and can be found on page 259.

Will there be affordable housing?

The good news for local people is that the proposal contains 35% shared ownership or property with affordable rents, although the developer was not able to quote prices, so the affordability is difficult to gauge at this stage. The proposed site will comprise a mix of one to four bedroom houses and one to two bedroom apartments all low rise.

 

The project architect, James Harman from Omega Architects explained his vision: “This project will be landscape sensitive with attention to the visual impact of the development being a high priority. This landscape led approach will ensure that, where possible, significant trees are retained and protected within the development. Building materials and colour palettes will be traditional and in keeping with the character of local Sussex buildings. There will be new pedestrian access through the site from Jubilee Fields allowing people to walk freely through the houses and out onto Ghyll Road.”

drawing of buildings

Artists impression of how the proposed homes might look, using a palette of local colour and materials.

Questions will no doubt be asked about access onto Ghyll Road and the pressure on local services balanced with the need for more new homes in Heathfield, not to mention the potential for four years’ disruption during the construction of the development. Wealden Council confirmed that there is currently no planning application, for this project, under consideration. However the developer informed us that they plan to get the planning application in to Wealden Council around September/October time. With a 13 week wait for the outcome, the outcome won’t be known until early 2020. Once the application is validated the surrounding areas will have 21 days to comment on the proposals during the statuatory period of consultation. All planning applications can be viewed on the Wealden Website.

Suggested layout with access and the path connecting Ghyll Road to Jubilee Fields