Plan for new build in Battle set for decision

Proposals to build a new home and garage on the outskirts of Battle are set to be discussed by Rother planners next week.

Friday, 12th April 2019, 4:33 pm
Updated Friday, 12th April 2019, 4:37 pm
Front elevation of the proposed new home

On Thursday (April 18), Rother District Council’s planning committee is due to consider an application seeking permission to build a two-storey home and detached double garage on land adjoining Marley Lane.

While the application is recommended for refusal due its location within the AONB and potential environmental impact, the proposals have significant support from the town council, residents and local councillors.

In a letter supporting the application, Sally-Ann Hart (Con. – Eastern Rother) urges the committee to take note of the ‘clear support for the application’ and grant planning permission.

Cllr Hart said: “This is a plot of infill land, which was the subject of an unsuccessful planning application last year. Since then, the plans have been modified to take on board the concerns of the planning department.

“The site is not within Battle’s development boundary and within an AONB. However, it has been recognised that the current boundary is not fully up to date as it does not allow for the provision of the housing growth required by the district.

“Looking at the site plan and other documents, the proposed application does not look out of place and is exactly the sort of spacious infill development we should be encouraging to satisfy some of our housing gap.”

Cllr Hart also argues the proposed buildings are of a similar character to many which already exist within the area and would enhance, rather than detract, from Marley Lane.

The proposals are also supported by ward councillor Kathryn Field (Lib Dem. – Battle), who called in the application on the grounds the proposals would be in keeping with the ribbon of development within the area and contribute to the town’s housing stock.

The application has also received support from a number of others including 12 residents who have submitted favourable comments to the council.

In their comments, supporters argue the home would have very little visual impact and would be unlikely to affect neighbouring properties in any way.

However, the council also received four letters of objection to the scheme, citing impact on the AONB, potential damage to wildlife and loss of parking among their concerns.

Some of these arguments are supported by Rother’s own planning officers, who say the scheme would have a negative impact on the AONB.

In a report recommending the application be refused, a planning officer said: “Notwithstanding the extremely moderate social and economic benefits of the proposal, the development would not meet the environmental role of sustainable development.

“This is because of the inaccessibility to local services and facilities together with the harm to the intrinsic qualities of the countryside and the landscape and scenic beauty of the AONB.

“When the National Planning Policy Framework is considered as a whole, the proposal does not constitute sustainable development.

“Furthermore, it is concluded that the scheme conflicts with the Development Plan as a whole.”

The application is set to be considered by Rother planners on Thursday, April 18.