Decision due on plans to replace former Burwash Common nursing home with housing

Plans for a housing development in Burwash Common are set to return to Rother planners next week. 

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 3:38 pm

Next Thursday (August 12), Rother District Council’s planning committee is expected to consider an application to demolish the former Ashwood Nursing Home in Heathfield Road and build 12 flats and houses in its place.

The scheme had previously been before the committee in May, after developer Artemis Design and Build Ltd lodged an appeal on the grounds that no decision had been made within the statutory time limit.

At that hearing councillors (going against the officers’ recommendation) resolved not to contest the appeal as they felt the scheme was broadly acceptable in principle. The committee also urged the developer to resubmit an application to avoid the appeal process, which they did.

However, officers say this resubmission has raised new issues – to do with technical information on flooding and air quality – which need to be considered by the committee.

In a report to the committee, a council planning officer said: “As part of the resubmission, new issues have arisen from consultees and therefore the 2020 application is being reported to members again so that instruction can be given on how they wish the appeal to proceed in light of the additional matters raised by consultees.”

It adds: “The planning agent and applicant have been asked for the additional information requested from Environmental Health and the Lead Local Flood Authority and were advised that additional recommended reasons for refusal would need to be added if it was not submitted. 

“However, the applicant has advised that they wish the application to be reported to the August planning committee meeting and cannot provide the requested information at such a late stage. 

“They are happy for the planning committee to decide the application on its merits. As the requested information from consultees has not been received, issues relating to drainage and air quality are added to the recommended reasons for refusal.”

In light of this officers are recommending that the committee both refuse the resubmitted scheme and reconsider the previous decision not to defend the appeal. 

The development proposed would include a block of four flats, a terrace of three houses and a pair of semi-detached dwellings. It would also include a detached dwelling and two detached self-build plots. 

A 20-space car park is proposed for the flats and six of the houses to be accessed via an existing entrance on Swing Gate Hill.  The self-build plots would be served by a new access road to be built on the northern part of the site.

For further information on the proposals see application reference RR/2021/1608/P on the Rother District Council website. For further background information on the appeal see application reference RR/2020/1798/P.