Sixty homes approved for farmland on edge of Brighton

Posted On 13 Sep 2017 at 3:06 pm

A scheme to build 60 homes on farmland on the edge of Brighton has been given outline planning permission this afternoon (Wednesday 13 September).

The proposal involves the demolition of existing farm buildings on nine acres of land at Coombe Farm, in Westfield Avenue North, Saltdean.

Forty per cent of the homes – or 24 of them – will be classed as affordable. And the applicants, Mike and David Carr, have been asked to make a financial contribution to the council totalling more than £500,000.

The developer contribution will be go towards local schools, a children’s play area, public transport and improvements for pedestrians.

About 160 people sent objections to the scheme to Brighton and Hove City Council and ward councillor Mary Mears addresses the Planning Committee at Hove Town Hall today.

Councillor Mears highlighted the existing pressure on school places, particularly at Saltdean Primary School.

She said: “My understanding from the bus company is that they will not be sending buses into the site meaning residents will have a long walk to access buses and children needing to travel outside the area for school.”

She flagged up traffic congestion on the A259 coast road “and the impact of pollution levels in Rottingdean High Street” as well as wildlife concerns, relating to bats and badgers.

Councillor Mears said: “We also have the serious issue of a doctors’ surgery closing in the surrounding areas and pressure for residents from Woodingdean, Rottingdean and Saltdean to be able to register at available doctors’ surgeries now.

“The surrounding infrastructure is unable to cope.”

Neighbour Deborah Robertson told councillors that proposed “buffer sites” on part of the overall site, which abuts the South Downs National Park, were inadequate.

She said: “We understand that both roads and communal areas are to be unadopted. Such roads in East Saltdean have fallen into disrepair. How would the council prevent similar dilapidation?

“Pressure upon local schools and GP places is critical.

“Lack of local infrastructure will cause a significant increase in daily traffic, exacerbating the chronic congestion on the coast road and illegal nitrogen dioxide levels in Rottingdean High Street which already break EU regulations daily.”

Planning consultant Paul Burgess, of Lewis and Co, spoke for the applicants and said: “The land is no longer required for farming and it is not in the national park.”

The housing density at 16 buildings per hectare would be lower than the surrounding area – and tall and ugly agricultural buildings would be replaced with two-storey family homes.

And he reminded councillors that 40 per cent of the homes would be affordable, with almost half of those for rent, in line with council policy.

He highlighted the financial contribution to be made by the developer and added: “The scheme before you today will make a vital contribution towards the housing requirements of Saltdean and the wider city.”

Councillor Michael Inkpin-Leissner said that there were already buildings and concrete on the land and added that it was suitable for housing.

Councillor Adrian Morris said: “It’s on the urban fringe but it is a brownfield site.”

Councillor Joe Miller said that he had concerns about the impact on neighbouring greenfield sites.

Councillor Leo Littman spoke about local roads being congested and the balance to be struck between the need for housing and the pressure on the local infrastructure.

Councillor Lynda Hyde said that she had “serious concerns” about the extra traffic, the pressure on local schools and on GP places.

Councillor Dan Yates said: “I remember this site when it was a working farm … It’s (now) being used for a wide variety of different things.

“It’s a sensible proposal which seems to address the majority of the issues.”

He had concerns about the proposed roads being unadopted, given the track record with other unadopted roads in the area.

The outline plans were approved by nine votes to two.

  1. Margaret Kite Reply

    I don’t understand the thinking on this plan. The traffic congestion in this area is unbearable at times. Doctors surgeries are bursting at the seams as are schools.

  2. Jami flippard Reply

    So very sad to hear this . What about all the horses and work shops . Is the 500.000 that the carrs have to pay . Is it a back hander to the top bodds that have pushed this deal though . So so sad to hears

    • Cllr Caroline Penn Reply

      It is not a backhander, but Section 106 money, which is a developers contribution.
      As ward councillor in Hollingdean I am delighted that S106 money will be used to improve playground facilities.
      I woould also remind you that Planning is quasi-judicial. Applications are judged by a strict national framework. Suggestions that there is some kind of bribery going on is completely wrong and inappropriate.

      • ROLIVAN Reply

        How come The Hotel at The Amex didn’t get through because of the sayso of 2 Councillors one who has now gone off to look apparently after her Mother and the other who had the deciding vote as Chair.Councillors on all Committees should have some experience especially when making decisions on multi million pound projects and especially not wander off into the sunset.

      • ROLIVAN Reply

        So as a Councillor can you honestly say that no Councillors benefit in any other way than the expenses they receive.Also do those that hold Government jobs do their Council work in their own time?

        • Clive Tring Reply

          Councillors get around £12k a year in basic expenses, which is nowhere near enough given the hours that are expected, which make holding down a regular full-time job simultaneously very difficult.

          Quite honestly, if you went into it for the money you would be a complete mug. There is the odd bad apple –  as in any area of life – but most people who get into it are trying to do the right thing. I write as someone who has been involved in a limited way in local politics but is not a councillor – mostly because it’s a much harder job than I could take on at the moment.

          It’s not fair to start chucking around allegations of backhanders just because you don’t like a particular planning decision. All councils are under massive pressure from central government to say yes to new developments. So keep the arguments relevant – play the ball and not the man/woman.

  3. Ursula Blair Reply

    What do they call affordable housing???? Will my daughter be able to buy one I doubt it very much….

  4. KP Reply

    I was born and raised in Saltdean but cannot afford to live there, i do hope that the affordable housing is affordable which will allow now allow me to buy in Saltdean… not social housing which will destroy the area and new development.

  5. Richard Sweeting Reply

    I think it is a shame there is no mention of the fact that this land was used for jobs as a farm and still several small companies operate from this land so we looking at a loss of jobs as well

  6. ROLIVAN Reply

    Why did the Council not buy this land for the thousands of homes this administration has promised.

  7. Cllr Julie Cattell Reply

    Rolivan. You should be very careful about making comments like that about Cllrs. Accusing us of taking backhanders?? I haven’t gone anywhere; just not available for yesterday’s committee due to a long-standing prior engagement. And I have 40 years experience in the built environment industry and the first chair of Planning at BH to be a professionally qualified & chartered town planner. I can also assure you that ex-Cllr Maggie Barradell is indeed looking after her ailing mother.

  8. peter Reply

    with the additional traffic that will be coming out of saltdean , we only have two routes , longridge and the road by the saltdean tavern. This is going to cause further traffic jams on the coast road and potential accidents by cars pulling out into the middle of the road to get across going into brighton. The coast road is already over congested let alone causing more traffic and pollution on the coast road. If there is an accident on the road the whole road comes to a stand still as it is. also I sometimes take a walk on the coast road and the pollution levels are already high

  9. chris Reply

    Regarding the sweetner about a childrens play area being built. I’d like to point out that two or three years ago the council adopted the “meadow policy” in Saltdean. This meant that many of our valuable little green spaces where kids used to play and people could give the dog a quick walk in the evening, were left to become “a meadow”. One of these areas is Westfield Ave North and South (a few yards from the new site) This policy apparently was to promote wild flowers, butterflies and bees. This policy has ruined these areas as a playground for kids; the large areas of long grass and weeds (there are no butterflies or wild flowers) are filled with dog excrement that dog owners either can’t find or don’t want to risk finding… I don’t blame them….has anyone tried picking up poo in hours of darkness in long wet grass? Show me one wild flower and I’ll show you 50 weeds and ten piles of dog waste. Show me a butterfly and I’ll show you 100 bluebottles. Now my point is the council doesn’t care about childrens play areas, it cares about butterflies and wild flowers. Yet it doesn’t care about the trees and natural wild areas that will be lost forever with this development because it just points at some old farm buildings. It makes one policy then contradicts it. Or maybe when this development is finished the green area in the centre of the plans that all the houses look onto will also be left to grow wild and free with a lawn mower going round the edges twice a year? Or maybe I could make the councils argument for them in advance…”we don’t need a meadow here because we are next to the biggest meadow of all…the South Downs!!”

    Do you see why we get annoyed? Just think about the impact on our little town this development will have councillors and be responsible.

  10. Joan Reply

    Just heard that the farmers who own this land, the Carrs, are now trying to get permission to build a stables behind the proposed housing site. The current stables will be demolished to make way for the houses. I live in Westfield Avenue North, the only access road leading to this new site, and quite frankly everyone on the this road is dreading it. It is already a busy road with buses and traffic up and down to the stables, (plus horses on the road slowing everyone down) and will soon have an extra 150 cars going up and down. Our only small consolation was that the stable traffic and horses would cease but now hearing this news I am totally gob smacked! How greedy does the farmer want to be and has he no consideration for his neighbours who have lived on this road for years??

    • georgina Reply

      Do you have no consideration for horses…where are all these animals expecting to go…all the stables are being built on in these areas…and it’s not the horses that slow the roads up it’s the buses that are too big for the roads!!

  11. AS Reply

    I highly doubt the majority of traffic going to & from Coombe Farm is caused by those who keep horses there but rather from other businesses on the site. As for horses ‘slowing everyone down’ on the roads, I have yet to see a vehicle have to wait longer than 5 seconds to allow a horse to pass. 5 seconds that are no different to those which are given when allowing a bus to squeeze past. In the grand scheme of things, permission for a barn to be built so people & their animals can continue to enjoy the countryside will be the least of everyone’s problems.

    It’s quite clear a development like this in an area such as Saltdean is simply ridiculous & has been from the very beginning. It’s appalling that the idea has even been entertained.

  12. Ian sharp Reply

    You mean standean

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