Proposals for a housing development in Maresfield have once again been approved by Wealden planners.

Wealden District Council’s Planning Committee North reconsidered an application to build 21 homes on land to the east of Straight Half Mile Road.

While recommended for approval, the scheme had seen objections from local residents, who had raised concerns about the loss of green space, impact on traffic, and the development’s drainage arrangements. 

Some of these concerns were laid out by ward councillor Ian Tysh (Green), who said:  “The real loss here is the field… everything else, landscaping and so on, yes it is better to do it than not to do it, but it is very much a sticking plaster. 


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“With very few exceptions, the Maresfield residents who have spoken to me about this development regret the loss of this field greatly and do not see the houses as any sort of gain for themselves or their living conditions.”

Despite some concerns, the committee ultimately agreed to grant planning permission. In effect, this was the same decision reached at the previous committee hearing held on Monday, November 27.

The scheme had been brought back due to a ‘voting sequence’ error at the previous meeting. In short, there had been two motions being considered by the committee at the time — one to approve the scheme in line with the officer recommendation and another to defer the decision in order to seek more information on foul drainage.

The committee only voted on the approval motion, acting on incorrect advice from officers that this motion should be taken first. This advice was in line with the previous version of the council’s constitution, with the more up-to-date version saying deferral motions should normally be taken first in such circumstances. 

As the November approval came down to a tie — with committee chairman Martyn Everitt (Green) using his casting vote to break the deadlock in favour of the development — officers took legal advice after the error was noted. This legal advice was to reconsider the application as a way to ‘de-risk’ any potential challenge to the decision. 

For further information see application reference WD/2022/3098/MAJ on the Wealden District Council website.