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Shopping Parade To Be Redeveloped In Heathfield

Sunday, 21 April 2024 06:00

By Huw Oxburgh, Local Democracy Reporter

High Street parade

Proposals to redevelop a shopping parade in Heathfield have been approved at appeal. 

In a decision notice issued last week, a planning inspector has granted outline permission to replace a row of shops at 14 to 30 High Street with a new building containing 12 shops and up to 10 maisonettes.

The scheme had been refused planning permission by Wealden District Council in October 2022, with councillors at the time raising concerns about the potential size of the development.

These concerns were not shared by the planning inspector, however, who noted how the application had been made in outline, with details such as scale and design set to come forward at a later date. 

In their decision notice, the inspector said:

“As an outline application, matters of layout, scale and appearance of the buildings are reserved for future consideration. Notwithstanding this I have considered the concerns of the council regarding the potential overdevelopment of the site, and its impact on the character of the area. 

“However, based on all the evidence before me and my site visit observations I consider that the substantial size of the appeal site, its location, and relationship to the existing built form of the surrounding area would mean that the site could be redeveloped at a scale consistent with the quantum of development being proposed. 

“Therefore, I am reassured that a subsequent detailed development proposal for the site at the reserved matters stage would not result in an overdevelopment of the site or result in harm to the character of the area.”

The planning inspector also reached a different conclusion from the council on issues of surface water flooding at the site. Concerns around such flooding had formed part of the reason for refusal, but the inspector took the view that the development could result in improved conditions. 

In light of this, the inspector chose to grant planning permission, subject to conditions. These conditions include the council signing off details of the site’s drainage plans and a noise mitigation scheme.

For further details see application reference WD/2022/1519/MAO on the Wealden District Council website.

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