Row over Burwash elderly affordable housing site withdrawal

A computer-generated image of how AmicusHorizon's plans for Old Rectory Court would have looked from High Street. Photo courtesy of AmicusHorizon
A computer-generated image of how AmicusHorizon's plans for Old Rectory Court would have looked from High Street. Photo courtesy of AmicusHorizon
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A row has broken out after a developer withdrew its planning application for an affordable housing scheme for senior citizens in Burwash.

Burwash Parish Council (BPC) does not want AmicusHorizon to pull out of the plans to redevelop Old Rectory Court despite disagreeing on the designs it submitted.

The housing association claims it withdrew the proposal because BPC did not support the scheme in general, which councillors dispute.

The council’s planning committee chairman Ijon Jenner said: “We call on Amicus to rethink this decision and engage with the parish council and rother district council to produce an acceptable scheme which provides much-needed elderly accommodation.

“After all, both parties – Amicus and Burwash – are committed to homes for the elderly in the village and we are looking forward to the former residents being able to return.”

AmicusHorizon announced in March, 2014, it would be rebuilding the High Street site and planning permission for 17 one-bed units for older people as well as four two-bed houses was submitted in September.

Although supportive of the refurbishment, BPC opposed the plans as the designs were not up to scratch as councillors felt it did not fit in with the character of the village and some of the homes seemed unsuitable.

But an AmicusHorizon spokesman said the non-support from BPC was disappointing as it saw the proposals as a ‘rare opportunity’ to provide ‘much-needed’ affordable housing.

“Given the strong views from the parish council against all forms of affordable housing in Burwash, we have to reconsider what development is right for our landholding here,” the spokesman said.

The housing association is now considering its options but no decision has been made yet.

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