Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has turned down a major housing scheme which was the subject of a recovered appeal following rejection by Wealden District Council. The secretary of state’s decision was in line with the planning inspector’s recommendation.
The scheme involved plans by Pelham Holdings for up to 520 new dwellings, a primary school, doctors’ surgery and a convenience store at Polegate in East Sussex. The scheme included two bridges for pedestrians and cyclists.
Although the project was in an area with an acknowledged shortage of housing the minister decision letter made it clear there were access problems, amenity issues and concern that the scheme was not in accord with the local development plan and was prejudicial to the Core Strategy.
... but allows residential development at Mansfield
In a separate recovered appeal involving a 215-dwelling scheme proposed by Allen Clark Farming for a site at Forest Town near Mansfield, the minister allowed the appeal, in line with the inspector’s recommendation
The site involved had been allocated for employment use in the local plan but the secretary of state agreed with the inspector that retention of the land for employment was not required as there was an adequate supply in the area.
Pickles concluded that a departure from the plan could be justified on the grounds that there were shortcomings in Mansfield District Council’s estimated five-year supply of deliverable housing provision.
The decision letter said the communities secretary was satisfied that the proposal “would be of a high quality, of a sustainable mix, in a sustainable location”.
19 May 2011