Lewes planners have deferred discussion of a controversial housing development in Wivelsfield Green.
On Wednesday (January 17), Lewes District Council’s planning committee had been set to consider an application to build six houses on land in Slugwash Lane — a site which was previously refused planning permission for an 11-home scheme.
While initially recommended for approval, officers changed their opinion in light of an objection pointing out how the scheme’s impact on a nearby listed building had not been properly assessed.
As discussion of the scheme began, planning officer Marc Dorfman said: “An objector has noted that the officer report has not carried out a listed building assessment of how the development would impact on the listed building.
“It is quite important because, whilst the listed building is mentioned in the officer’s report … the proposal includes not only includes the development of the site, but also a proposal for a new footpath which links the development to Green Road, the centre of the village.
“That [footpath] runs past the listed building … and looking at the report again the objector is right; an assessment of the impact of that new footpath, particularly in terms of the setting of the listed building, hasn’t been carried out.
“On that basis, I would like to recommend to committee that the application is deferred for that assessment to happen. Having undertaken that assessment and anything which comes to mind over that period, we will bring back a revised report at some point at a future committee.”
This new recommendation, to defer discussion of the scheme, was agreed by the committee.
The proposals have generated a significant amount of opposition, with the council receiving 83 letters of objection from local residents.
Objections have also been raised by Wivelsfield Parish Council, which argues the scheme would be of an ‘unsympathetic’ design, in a ‘unsustainable’ location and add infrastructure pressures.
Concerns have also been raised about the site’s location (as it falls outside of the village’s development boundary) and the impact of construction on the character of Slugwash Lane as a route for walkers and cyclists.