SPC logo

PARK VIEW, THE STREET, SEDLESCOMBE

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this Briefing Note is to appraise members of Sedlescombe Parish Council Planning Committee of the situation regarding building land at the rear of The Pollards, Kester House and Tanyard Cottages. There may, of course, be other matters that the Parish Council is not aware of. It should be noted that, according to a Planning, Design and Access Statement by Brite date-stamped June 2010, the Company also owns the large paddock to the north east of the site.

 

PLANNING SITUATION

The site is located within:

  1. the Development Boundary of Sedlescombe
  2. the Sedlescombe Conservation Area
  3. the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  4. Tanyard Cottages and Kester House are listed buildings

In 2002, a planning application was submitted and refused for eight houses to be built on the site. At the time, there was one property named "Park View" on the site built in about 1900.

 

In 2004 (RR/2004/3642/P) an outline planning application was submitted for the demolition of Park View and outbuildings and erection of four dwellings. This was refused by Rother District Council but outline planning permission was granted on appeal. This established the principle for the development of the site utilising the existing access.

 

In January 2007, an Archaeological Desk-based Assessment was completed by Wessex Archaeology for Constantgreen Limited.

 

In 2007 (RR/2007/2199/P) a reserved matters application was undetermined.

 

In April 2008, Park View and outbuildings were demolished and the site cleared of trees and shrubs.

 

In May 2008, an Archaeological Evaluation Report was written by Wessex Archaeology for Constantgreen (the owners at the time) after the excavation of six trenches on the site. The following was stated in the report:

 

"The archaeological evaluation demonstrated the presence of significant structural remains relating to the tanning and fellmonging activities known to have taken place within the vicinity of the Site from the medieval period to the late 19th century. Following the results of the evaluation, and in consultation with the County Archaeologist for East Sussex County Council, a staged approach to further works, comprising an auger survey of the northern area and strip, map and sample of the southern area of the Site, has been recommended in advance of any development."

 

Subsequently, the site was sold.

 

In 2010, RR2010/1131/P, because previous planning permission had lapsed, a new application for construction of four detached houses and cart lodge garage with bin and cycle store was submitted by Brite Design and Development Ltd., the new owners. The layout of the proposed development was intended to provide a loose knit form of development based on a farm yard and includes a farm house, three barns and a cartlodge. The application was approved.

 

There are proposals to retain the perimeter hedges and supplement them by planting a native hedge mix. New specimen trees such as Sweet Chestnut, Oak or Horse Chestnut are planned for the central courtyard.

 

[NB It is believed that Brite Design and Development Ltd also owns the 'Cartref' site opposite the village hall and 'The Bothy' site at the rear of the Brickwall Hotel. Both of these sites have been granted planning approval for housing development as well. However, on 08/05/2006, a stop notice was served on the owner of Cartref and since then, as far as we are aware, no further development work has taken place.]

 

PLANNING CONDITIONS

RR/2010/1131/P - planning permission was granted on 09/09/10 and carries fourteen conditions. These include land contamination measures and archaeological work which should be undertaken prior to development. The initial evaluation of the site revealed links to various activities on the site between the Bronze Age (Bronze Age dates from 2,000 BC) and the late 19th century. According to the Wessex Archaeology Evaluation Report of May 2008, the following should be done prior to development:

  • Staged approach to further works on the site comprising an auger survey of the northern part of the site.
  • The southern part of the site should be stripped to the archaeological levels and all features mapped using GPS or Total Station surveying equipment.
  • Afterwards, a sample of the tannery/fellmonger's pits to be excavated by hand.
  • Samples of pollen and analysis of insect remains to be taken.
  • Any further archaeological features that are uncovered to be sampled.

RECENT ACTIVITY AT THE PARK VIEW SITE

On Wednesday 26 January 2011, groundworks were commenced on the Park View site by Brite Design and Development Ltd. The archeology pits were covered and their positions obliterated. When challenged by the neighbours, the builders said that they had conformed to all approvals and that the next archaeological work would not be undertaken until the footings are installed. The new owners of Kester House telephoned Rother DC and submitted an Enforcement Complaint Form to Rother.

 

On Friday 28 January 2011, the Parish Clerk was alerted to the situation by a resident of Tanyard Cottages. The Clerk submitted an Enforcement Complaint Form to Rother regarding the undertaking of work prior to completion of the archaeological investigations.

 

On the evening of Wednesday 2 February 2011, the resident of Kester House informed the Clerk that five lorry loads of spoil from the Cartref site had been dumped that day on the Park View site. The reason given was insufficient space to work on the Cartref site. According to the foreman, an 8-ton lorry would collect the spoil from the site at some future date.

 

On the morning of Thursday 3 February 2011, after a resident of Tanyard Cottages had phoned the Clerk regarding the ongoing work at Park View, the Clerk spoke to Graham Fifield, Enforcement Officer. He informed her that Mike Searle, Rother Enforcement, had visited the Park View site on Wednesday 2 February 2011 and a meeting was about to be held when the possibility of issuing a Stop Notice was to be discussed.

 

At about the same time, the resident phoned the Deputy County Archaeologist and he said he would be asking Graham Fifield to issue a Stop Notice on that day.

 

According to neighbours, no work took place on the site on Thursday 03/02 afternoon, Friday 04/02 or Saturday 05/02/11.

 

OTHER ISSUES

As well as the archaeology, the residents are concerned about private issues such as possible damage to their drains and mains water and gas connections in the driveway by the passage of heavy lorries. They are also being harassed by Brite's employees, who have threatened them with the Police, regarding the need for them to move their cars from their parking areas so that the Park View site can be accessed by large vehicles. While the neighbours are allowing access to the site for cars and small lorries, they do not consider they have to allow access for an 8-ton lorry.

 

In addition it is alleged that Japanese Knotweed and Slow-worms on the site have not been properly dealt with.

 

06/02/11