PLANNERS have given the go ahead to a major housing development. 

Wealden District Council’s planning committee south approved a reserved matters application to build 146 homes at the Brodricklands and Hamlands Farm site near Eastbourne. 

The application came as the first phase of a larger development of the site, which was granted outline approval for a total of 390 homes in October 2016.

In granting the reserved matters approval, the committee directed officers to negotiate changes to the layout of the site with developers to offer better parking arrangements. 

While eventually approved, several councillors argued in favour of deferring the application as a public consultation on the latest proposals had not concluded at the time of the meeting. 

Arguing this point, Lower Willingdon councillor Stephen Shing (Independent Democrat) said: “As a transparent council, I think we should give [consideration] to whatever the outcome from the consultation tomorrow will bring.”

Later in the meeting, Cllr Shing compared the wider application to a ‘car accident.’

He said: “This application is like a car accident which nobody wants but where the emergency services have to sort out the mess. 

“This application was granted outline in October 2016, when Wealden had no five-year land supply and no updated local plan, otherwise we would not be here today. 

“However, I continue to receive lots of concerns from residents about the increased traffic, parking and drainage from this development.”

The argument for deferral was also made by Pamela Oates, of the campaign group Brodricklands Action Group (BAG) during the public representations.

Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Stephen Lloyd also spoke at the meeting to raise residents’ concerns, particularly highlighting the disruption from construction traffic.

Other committee members, however, did not agree with deferring, saying only a single day remained in the public consultation and it was the fourth consultation to be held in connection with the site. 

Cllr Nick Collinson (Con, Hailsham North) said: “I don’t think it serves either residents, the council or indeed anybody to just defer for the sake of what might happen.

“I think if there were serious, substantial new things to come out of this consultation process they would be on the table already and we would be aware of them.”

Cllr Collinson also stressed he would want the council to ensure developers work closely with residents during construction of the site to minimise disruption.

Cllr Roger Thomas (Con, Heathfield South) shared these views, arguing that the objectors had already ‘covered everything very clearly’ and that anything ‘earth shattering’ to come out of the consultation would see the matter brought back to the committee.

Following further discussion, committee chairman Susan Stedman (Con, Horam and Punnetts Town) put forward a motion to approve subject to changes to the site layout to improve parking layout.

The motion was passed and the reserved matters application was granted permission subject to conditions.