Heathfield High Street development voted on at today’s planning meeting.

12th January

Developer’s illustration of the proposed outline development

Outline planning permission for the development WD/2018/1083/MAO, which would include ten flats and twelve retail units on the site of 14-30 High Street, Heathfield, East Sussex, was the first item on the agenda at today’s Wealden Planning Committee Meeting.

The proposed development was hotly debated by the local councillors in attendence, as they sought reassurances from Mr Bending the Head of Policy and Economic Development. Although, there was some concensus on the need to redevelop the site and it was agreed that it was within the development boundary and a brownfield site. It was apparent that councillors seemed to be unable to get past the design drawings which illustrated a three story building with an underground carpark. Reassurances were given by Mr Bending that any permitted redevelopment would be a story lower and comprise a basement carpark, ground floor retail and first floor residential with further residential in the roof space, and that this meeting was only to approve outline planning permission. He went on to further explain that outline consent can be given with a list of development conditions and urged those present to consider the positive outcomes of a development.

Further concerns were raised over the Heathfield High Street development

Many were not convinced and raised further concerns over the overall design, car parking provision, damage to local businesses, loss of the post office, impact on local residents, flood risk, soil management, subsidence, run off water issues, protection of trees and the period of consent.

Councillors Howell and Watts proposed a motion to approve the outline planning consent with a list of requirements which included: retail space to be serviced ahead of residential, post office loss considered, protection of trees, ESCC parking standards maintained, soil management plan, 2 year consent limitation and delivery hours restricted. In opposition Councillors Lunn and Cleaver supported a motion to refuse the application based on concerns about the density of the development, parking issues, drainage and lack of suitability for the needs of Heathfield.

The Heathfield High Street application went to vote and the development was rejected by six votes to five.

12 January 2022