An appeal by developers to overturn a refusal by Rother District Council to build up to 30 homes in Burwash has been dismissed.
Park Lane wanted to build the houses on the Strand Meadow site.
In January, the application was unanimously refused by the council’s planning committee on design grounds.
The application was also refused on the grounds the applicant would not be able to enter into an agreement to provide affordable housing as part of the development.
Developers appealed but this was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate in a decision made last Thursday (July 25).
Ian Rees, who lives near the proposed development, said he and his neighbours were ‘delighted’, saying the development would have blighted the street near him and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The victory follows a campaign by Burwash: Save our Fields to reject the application.
More than 400 objections were sent to the council.
The inspector’s main reason for refusal was ‘the effect on the character, and appearance and of the AONB’.
His report said: “The three-storey buildings present a rather abrupt edge to the village and an architectural style, form and scale unsympathetic to the rural landscape character. The proposed dwellings would include large areas of glazing and details unrelated to the locality or the building traditions of the wider landscape. This would result in a hard, semi-urban appearance.
“Accordingly, the proposal would not enhance the architectural quality of the village or the High Weald.
The inspector also considered ‘the design had not been tested through any form of design review or any concerted effort to work up a design with the local community’.
Robert Banks, of Burwash: Save our Fields, the co-ordinator of the group who led the campaign against the development, said: “Our group wants well-designed houses in the right place which local people can afford, not urban houses, built just for profit on the beautiful fields around the village.”