Plans for a major housing development in Barcombe Cross have been approved at appeal.
In a decision notice published on Wednesday (December 13), a planning inspector greenlit controversial proposals to build up to 70 homes on land to the west of Barcombe Mills Road.
The outline application, from Gladman Developments Limited, had originally been refused by Lewes District Council in March, due to concerns about the loss of agricultural land and the impact of the development on Mongers Farmhouse, a nearby Grade II listed property.
In a report at the time, a Lewes planning spokesman said: “Given the amount of land lost, it is considered that the development would be the cause of significant harm in terms of agriculture, food production and sustainability.
“It is recommended that the application is refused. The tilted balance has been engaged and it is considered that the harm caused by the development would significantly outweigh any benefit.”
This initial refusal was welcomed by local residents, who had raised a significant number of objections to the application.
The planning inspector reached a different conclusion, however.
While the inspector conceded the loss of agricultural land would go against local planning policy, they ultimately concluded that the district’s housing targets would require building on greenfield land.
In other words, it was inspector’s view that the local planning policy was outweighed by the need for housing in the district
In their decision notice, the inspector said: “The presumption in favour of sustainable development as a material consideration would be of sufficient weight to indicate that the appeal should be determined otherwise in accordance with the development plan and outline planning consent should be granted.
“There have been substantial objections against the proposal. In coming to conclusions, such objections have been assessed against the development plan, the [National Planning Policy] Framework, other policies, and considerations. In the planning balance, the weight of the evidence in this case leads to this appeal succeeding.