Proposals for a major housing development near Uckfield have been approved by Wealden planners. 

Wealden District Council’s planning committee north granted outline permission to build 340 homes at the Horstedpond Farm site in Lewes Road, Little Horsted.

The scheme had seen strong objections from a number of parish councils. Their concerns included: the impact of development on ecology; additional pressure on the A22 and other local infrastructure; harm to listed buildings within the site; and its drainage arrangements. 

These concerns were shared by ward councillor Ben Reed. In a statement read on her behalf, the councillor said: “I am deeply concerned about this application when there is so much unbuilt development in Uckfield and the surrounding villages using Uckfield.

“This is a beautiful Low Weald mediaeval landscape threatened with severe loss and change. Please refuse this application on the grounds of environmental impact … harm to listed buildings and non-designated heritage assets … and damage to the rural character and landscape setting.”


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Officers, however, had recommended approval, noting that there was a ‘very comprehensive mitigation package’ designed to reduce the scheme’s impact on the area. 

They also noted how the developer had initially been seeking permission to build 400 homes on the site, but this number had been amended down before the scheme was considered by the committee. Officers had said this earlier version of the proposals would have had too great an impact on the area, but were content with the amended proposals.

While many members were uncomfortable with the proposals, the committee ultimately reached a decision to grant outline planning permission, although this came down to Martyn Everitt, the committee’s chairman, using his casting vote to break a deadlock. 

Although an indicative scheme at this stage, the final proposals are expected to include around 119 affordable homes. 

For further information on the proposals see application reference WD/2022/2216/MAO on the Wealden District Council website.