Planning Application – HPW Homes – 7 Houses at Greenacres on Keymer Road

Once again an application to develop Greenacres on Keymer Road has been submitted, this time for 7 houses.

There are compelling and valid planning arguments why MSDC should refuse permission for this development but MSDC are unlikely to use these unless there is significant local opposition.  For that, we need your help.

In this new application the layout has been altered but the spine road still runs straight through the site and leads directly to the fields. It is vital for the preservation of the greenfield land to the south of Folders Lane that this new application is also refused.

We need your support in objecting to this inappropriate development by Friday 29th July.

A draft of a suggested objection letter is available below:

You can submit your objection directly online via the ‘comments’ section of the application here.

Alternatively, you can email your objection to the Planning Officer Mr Stuart Malcolm, Stuart.Malcolm@midsussex.gov.uk, quoting the application number DM/16/2607.

Remember, email or submit one objection per individual, each will count as a separate objection.

Greenacres and Thakeham History:

In October 2015, HPW Homes attempted to develop the Greenacres site into a single line of 6 houses leaving access to the fields beyond, south of Folders Lane, open for access and future development. It was refused by the MSDC Planning Committee “A”.

In December 2014 HPW Homes sold Greenacres to Thakeham Homes, on the same day Thakeham bought the 3 fields adjacent to Greenacres running behind Folders Lane. Later that month Thakeham Homes illegally (according to MSDC) removed all hedgerow and a number of mature trees in those fields. On appealing against MSDC’s order to replant the hedgerow Thakeham claimed they would apply for planning permission on the fields using Greenacres as the access point into the fields.

Deadline Extended – Planning Application – HPW Homes – 6 Houses at Greenacres, Keymer Road

For technical reasons because the site is directly adjacent to a listed building the consultation period for this utterly inappropriate application has been re-opened.

We have until 29 April to make representations to MSDC and we urgently need you to add to these.  Even if you have previously objected it is very important you do so again as there have been a number of important developments that now need to be raised.

It is vital for the preservation of the greenfield land to the south of Folders Lane that this application is refused because despite the half hearted denials from the applicant it is clear that the development is intended as a forerunner to a much larger application to develop the three adjacent fields.

A draft of a suggested objection letter is available below:

Details of the application, reference: DM/15/4076, can be accessed here.

You can submit your objection directly via the ‘comments’ section of the application here.

Examination of the proposal reveals the following:

  • HPW Homes signed an agreement to sell the property to Thakeham Homes on 16 December 2014.
  • On the same day Thakeham Homes bought the three fields to the east of Greenacres.
  • Shortly afterwards contractors for Thakeham Homes illegally removed all of the hedging in the three fields as well as a number of mature trees.
  • They have also felled two very large trees at the eastern edge of the Greenacres plot that would have been a barrier to a road going through into the fields.
  • As part of their appeal against a replanting order for the hedges imposed on them by MSDC Thakeham Homes stated they will be applying for planning permission to develop the fields using the Greenacres plot as an access.  The appeal failed and Thakeham have been forced to replant the illegally removed hedgerow.  Significantly, they have not replanted a 25 metre section adjacent to the Greenacres site where the road would come through into the fields.
  • It can be seen from the plan submitted as part of the HPW application that the proposed road running through the plot is in reality intended as the access road for a much bigger development in the three fields.
  • Thakeham’s part in this cunning plot is shown up by an error on the HPW submission that is directly lifted from proposals for a previous Thakeham development off Valebridge Road, Burgess Hill which is now under construction.
  • Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of Thakeham Homes in the application.

Objecting to the application (deadline Friday 29th April):

  1. You can submit your objection directly via the ‘comments’ section of the application here. This will register your objection immediately – remember you should send in an objection for each member of the household as then each will count as a separate objection. Numbers count.
  2. Alternatively, you can email or write a letter with your objection to the Planning Officer, Mr Stuart Malcolm, quoting the application number DM/15/4076Remember, email or write one letter per individual, each will count as a separate objection.Email: Stuart.Malcolm@midsussex.gov.uk
    Post: Mr Stuart Malcolm, Planning Services Division, Mid Sussex District Council, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex  RH16 1SS

Planning Application – HPW Homes – 6 Houses at Greenacres, Keymer Road

A Most Cunning Development Plan (apologies to Baldrick)

In its eight years of fighting inappropriate planning applications in the Folders Lane Area SOFLAG has never encountered such a cunning one as that submitted by HPW Homes to knock down Greenacres on Keymer Road and replace it with six houses.  We believe the submission is an attempt to mislead the public and MSDC that this is a stand-alone, small scale application.  IT IS NO SUCH THING.

It is vital for the preservation of the greenfield land to the south of Folders Lane that this application is refused and to this end we need your support in objecting to this inappropriate development, by Friday 13th November.  There are several compelling and valid planning arguments why MSDC should refuse permission for this development but MSDC are unlikely to use these unless there is significant local opposition.  For that, we need your help.

A draft of a suggested objection letter is below:

Details of the application, reference: DM/15/4076, can be accessed here.

You can submit your objection directly via the ‘comments’ section of the application here.

Our close examination of the proposal reveals the following:

  • HPW Homes signed an agreement to sell the property to Thakeham Homes on 16 December 2014.
  • On the same day Thakeham Homes bought the three fields to the east of Greenacres.
  • Shortly afterwards contractors for Thakeham Homes (illegally, according to MSDC) removed all of the hedging in the three fields as well as a number of mature trees.
  • They also felled the very large oak tree at the eastern edge of the Greenacres plot that would have been a barrier to a road going through into the fields.
  • As part of their appeal against a replanting order for the hedges imposed on them by MSDC Thakeham Homes stated they will be applying for planning permission to develop the fields using the Greenacres plot as an access.
  • It can be seen from the plan submitted as part of the HPW application that the proposed road running through the plot is in reality intended as the access road for a much bigger development in the three fields.
  • Thakeham’s part in this cunning plot is shown up by an error on the HPW submission that is directly lifted from proposals for a previous Thakeham development off Valebridge Roead, Burgess Hill which is now under construction.
  • Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of Thakeham Homes in the application.

Objecting to the application (deadline Friday 13th November):

  1. You can submit your objection directly via the ‘comments’ section of the application here. This will register your objection immediately – remember you should send in an objection for each member of the household as then each will count as a separate objectionNumbers count. 
  2. Alternatively, you can email or write a letter with your objection to the Planning Officer, Mr Stuart Malcolm, quoting the application number DM/15/4076.  Remember, email or write one letter per individual, each will count as a separate objection.Email: Stuart.Malcolm@midsussex.gov.uk
    Post: Mr Stuart Malcolm, Planning Services Division, Mid Sussex District Council, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex  RH16 1SS

 

New Planning Application To Build Four Houses On The Site of 60 Folders Lane

A new application has been submitted by the landowners to demolish the existing bungalow and replace this with four large detached houses. Supporters may recall that this particular site has been the subject of two previous applications by Hillreed Homes to build first seven houses and then five houses, both of which were refused by MSDC and the subsequent appeals to the government inspector dismissed.

Use the link here to access the planning application information on the MSDC website.

Click below for the Objection Letter.

The inspectors in their findings recognised that this eastern end of Folders Lane is distinctly more semi-rural than the rest of the lane and that such an intensive cramped development would be out of character and as such cause harm to the immediate area.

SOFLAG has scrutinised this latest proposal and come to the conclusion by just lowering the number of houses by one the effect on the area will essentially remain the same especially when you realise the latest footprints are bigger so the number of bedrooms remain exactly the same as the last failed application for five houses.

SOFLAG has indicated that two large houses side by side would be far more in keeping with the immediate area but this suggestion was ignored.

We also keep in mind that developers have in the past submitted two applications to build up to 27 houses on the land behind the adjacent property 60a Folders Lane up to 78 Folders Lane. These applications were eventually refused however SOFLAG is aware that plans are still in the pipeline to submit a revised proposal to build 10 houses on this land which if allowed together with this proposal would effectively mean a 14 house development running behind 60 – 78 Folders Lane.

Therefore, we feel it is important that this application be opposed.

The public has until the 21st November to make representations to MSDC over this application.

Application Approved to build a 4 Bedroom house on the land to the rear of Silver Birches, Keymer Road

It is extremely disappointing to report that the application to build one detached house behind Silver Birches on Keymer Road was last week approved by MSDC Planning Committee B by 6 votes to 2 with one abstention.

The application can be viewed here.

Previous applications to build on this site in 2010 & 2012 were refused by MSDC, decisions which were subsequently upheld by planning inspectors on appeal. The proposal then was to build a detached house behind Silver Birches as an addition to the three detached houses already granted planning permission in 2008 behind the immediate neighbouring properties Parkwood & Tryfan.

The reasons for refusal then were adding this house would be over development of the site adversely affecting the character of the area and its effect on the street scene from the Keymer Road plus MSDC felt there would be loss of amenities by means of overlooking to neighbouring High Oaks in Woodwards Close.

Since then the developer, Eade, who was granted permission to build the houses behind Parkwood & Tryfan has we believe now sold that site on with the planning permission remain extant in perpetuity. Therefore these houses can and will be built at any time of the new owners choosing.

It is therefore incredible that this MSDC planning committee has agreed with  the recommendation of the planning officer, Andy Watt, to approve this latest  application to add what will effectively be a fourth house along the same building line as the prospective houses behind Parkwood & Tryfan, when the previous reasons for refusal have not been addressed.

This is the second time in recent months that this committee has completely ignored the wishes of local residents, ward councillors Ian Simpson and Ginny Heard and the Burgess Hill Town Council by voting to allow development on sites which have previously been refused or are totally inappropriate, the first being the decision to approve a new house behind Farthings in April this year. (see entry below)

SOFLAG now believes that these examples provide clear evidence that the decision last year by the MSDC Executive to abandon the Mid Sussex Area Committees (North, Central & South) and replace them with two fully mixed Committees (A & B) was primarily taken to ensure that local councillors could be overruled and their legitimate planning arguments for refusing an application ignored in order to meet the now defunct South East Plan housing targets for Mid Sussex.

It is notable that local ward councillor Ian Simpson who has been a vociferous opponent to inappropriate development in the area was barred from even speaking at the meeting on the grounds he has a prejudicial interest as he lives in the locality.

It is also notable that the planning officer and the committee chose to ignore the compelling arguments put forward by the Burgess Hill Town Council planning committee, ward councillor Ginny Heard, local resident Ian Gooding and Jerry Batte representing SOFLAG and in doing so also dismissed the concerns of numerous residents who wrote to the Council in opposition to the application.

Isn’t this what localism is supposed to be all about?

In his submission Andy Watt referred to the back garden developments already approved in the area with no mention of the higher number that have been refused. He stated the only reason the inspector had rejected the previous appeal was concerns about the effect on the street scene. He pointed out that the inspector had not used any other reasons including overlooking and that they should not therefore refuse on those grounds.

However, he failed to point out the obvious fact that if looked at in conjunction with the permission already given for the 3 houses behind Parkwood and Tryfan, this application for a single house will have exactly the same impact on the street scene that was the reason for refusing permission to increase the 3 houses to 4 by incorporating this now separate plot.

If the Committee really wanted to be consistent, as some stated, then the application should have been rejected for exactly this same reason given by the Inspector last year.

Pru Moore (Burgess Hill, Leylands) spoke against the application stating there was a rural feel to the area and that this type of development has got to stop. She also spoke of the loss of privacy, gross over development of the site, and the small garden not being in keeping with such a big house and opposed the application.

The chairman, Robert Salisbury (Cuckfield), thanked local ward councillor Ginny Heard who spoke at length in opposition and asked the committee for their comments.

Colin Trumble (Hurstpierpoint) said he really did not like this application but said he believed they would be on shaky grounds if they turned it down.

Catherine Cherry (Burgess Hill, ) said it was an over development of the site.

Andrew McNaughton (Ardingly & Balcombe) who was also influential in approving the Farthings development started by saying this was a difficult one and he understood the members concerns. However, he said they had to be consistent so he could not see how the committee could turn it down.

Voting:

Against Development:  Pru Moore  (Burgess Hill, Leylands), Catharine Cherry, (Burgess Hill, Leylands). (2)

For Development:  Robert Salisbury (Cuckfield), Andrew McNaughton (Ardingly & Balcombe), Margaret Hersey (Lindfield), Bruce Forbes (Crawley Down & Turners Hill), Bob Maidstone, (East Grinstead, Imberhorne), Dick Sweetman, (East Grinstead, Herontye) (6)

Abstain:  Colin Trumble (Hurstpierpoint & Downs) (1)

Or, looked at another way:

Against a development in Burgess Hill, two Burgess Hill Councillors

For a development in Burgess Hill, six Councillors from other areas who have no local accountability to Burgess Hill.

Jones Homes Plan to Build 70-80 Dwellings on land behind 88 Folders Lane

Jones Homes have indicated they are to apply for planning permission to build 70 – 80 dwellings in the fields behind Folders Lane, Burgess Hill. To this end they have already held pre-application discussions with Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC), West Sussex County Council Highways Authority, the South Downs National Park Authority and Burgess Hill Town Council.

Local residents have received written invitations from their agent DMH Stallard to attend a public exhibition of their plans between 4.00 and 8.00 p.m. on Monday 8th September 2014 at the Martlets, Burgess Hill to which all members of the public are invited. We are told Survey Forms for feedback will be available in both hard copy and online on the day of the exhibition.

SOFLAG understands the proposal is to build 75 dwellings of which 30% will be affordable homes (1, 2 & 3 bed apartments & houses) with the remainder a market mix of 3 & 4 bed houses. If approved it will result in 88 Folders Lane being demolished in order to allow access to the site.

SOFLAG committee members will be attending the exhibition to assess the extent of these plans and would encourage our supporters to do the same. However, please note we would advise caution at this stage against saying anything either verbally or via the survey form (should you choose to complete one) which could be interpreted as being in any way supportive of the plans.

SOFLAG remains opposed to all inappropriate development south of Folders Lane and we hope to be in a position to give  more details on this development after the exhibition.

Planning Application to build a 4 Bedroom house on the land to the rear of Silver Birches, Keymer Road

Again as highlighted in our latest newsletter below a new application has been submitted to MSDC to build a four bedroom house   in the rear garden of Silver Birches in Keymer Road, Burgess Hill. It is unbelievable that the applicant believes this application should be allowed bearing in mind the previous refusals and dismissals on appeal for this property.

Details of the appeal can be accessed from the link in red above and you can also download a copy of an example objection letter below:

Application for Farthings, Keymer Road Approved

Despite 77 letters of objection and representations by affected neighbours, SOFLAG and Ian Simpson the ward councillor the MSDC Planning Committee B voted 7-1 with 2 abstentions at last nights meeting to approve this application.

This was very disappointing considering we felt we had a strong argument for refusal based on over development of the site which would be out of character with the immediate area and contrary to the emerging Burgess Hill Neighbourhood Plan.

However that was all deemed irrelevant by the committee chairman Mr Andrew McNaughton, Conservative Councillor for Ardingly & Balcombe who at the start of the debate reminded his fellow councillors they must only consider this application against the planning officer’s previous reasons for refusal, namely the height of the roof and existence of a southern facing bedroom window, both of which were easily fixable by the applicant lowering the roof and removing said offending window.

In these situations where the council planning officer deems the application be just a re-submission of the previous application and not a new application then we face an almost impossible task if the planning officer has previously  refused the earlier application under delegated powers on minor design issues.

Having said this it was still extremely disappointing to hear some district councillors views that the Keymer Road/Folders Lane area does not merit consideration as an area of townscape value where inappropriate development should be discouraged. We thought our elected representatives opinions had moved beyond that of the previous decades – clearly not,  which only makes us even more determined to fight this outdated view.

Mr Graham Knight, Lib Dem Councillor for Burgess Hill St Andrews ward proposed the application be approved and he was seconded by Mr Richard Bates, Lib Dem Councillor for Haywards Heath Ashenground. The only vote against was Vice Chairwoman Cherry Catherine of Burgess Hill Leylands ward and we thank her sincerely for her support.

Planning Application Recommended for Approval by MSDC for Farthings, Keymer Road

Despite 64 letters of objection the MSDC planning officer has recommended this application for approval when it comes before the MSDC planning committee meeting on the 17th April. Once again this is very disappointing however, we will be speaking against this at the meeting and we remain hopeful the councillors will decide to overrule the planning officer and refuse permission.