The Street, Framfield

We were appointed by Hawridge Land to promote a Green Belt site on the edge of the village of Framfield in Wealden District.

Our Solutions

We promoted the site for approximately 70 dwellings through the emerging Wealden Local Plan. The Council did not propose to allocate the site on the basis that it did not consider villages such as Framfield to have suitable access to services and facilities by sustainable modes of transport. The Local Plan progressed, but suffered significant soundness issues during the Local Plan examination and was ultimately withdrawn.

In the context of the Council having an out-of-date Local Plan and housing land supply shortfall, we continued to engage with the Council and secured Officer buy-in to support a slightly smaller scheme of 57 dwellings through a speculative outline planning application.

We secured an officer recommendation for approval but at Planning Committee the planning application was refused by Members on the basis of the site not been sustainable, having regard to comments from the highway authority.

We subsequently appealed the Council’s decision to refuse the outline planning application and which was heard by way of a hearing. The appeal focused on the sustainability merits of the site, in particular the rural nature of Wealden and the fact national planning policy allows for growth in less sustainable locations in rural Districts.

The Outcome

The Inspector allowed the appeal, accepting our arguments in relation to locational sustainability, as well as the out-of-date nature of the Local Plan, housing land supply shortfall and the significant benefits that should be afforded to the delivery of market housing, affordable housing and self-build housing.

We are now working with Hawridge to prepare a reserved matters application.

Image courtesy of Omega Architects.