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    Land at Mockbeggars Farm – Appeal Decision Response

    Following the recent news that an Appeal Decision has been published for the Planning Application for Land at Mockbeggars Farm, Uckfield Town Council would like to offer the following response:

    An appeal was made under Section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to the Planning Inspectorate for an application made to the local planning authority (Wealden District Council) for Land at Mockbeggars Farm, London Road, Uckfield (application reference WD/2022/0648/MAO).

    The application was for the development of 60 dwellings, access and internal roads, parking, ancillary structures, landscaping and open space, drainage, and other associated works. All matters were reserved for later in the planning process apart from access. Members of Wealden’s Planning Committee North refused the application on 22 June 2023.

    The appeal was made by Obsidian Strategic Asset Management Ltd against the decision of the local planning authority.

    In December 2023, Wealden District Council advised that they could not proceed with defending the appeal.

    It was at that time, that Uckfield Town Council (as a consultee for Uckfield-based planning applications, and representative of the Uckfield residents) asked the Planning Inspectorate alongside local residents, if an opportunity could be provided for their voices to be heard.

    Local knowledge is key and Uckfield Town Council feel it is important for local residents to have an opportunity to express their views on all matters within the community, especially those that will impact their day-to-day living and change the character of the places they live.

    In these circumstances, it was felt that the residents had very valid concerns about the impact the proposed development would have on the land – in particular highway safety on London Road, the removal of parking outside of the cottages at Ringles Cross, drainage and flooding concerns, impact on landscape characteristics, the effects on non-designated heritage assets and the impact to the environmentally sensitive area of the site and adjacent sites.

    The site holds strong linkages to the ecological corridor between West Park Nature Reserve and Shortbridge Stream, through Lake Wood, Downlands Farm to the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Buxted Park. It was considered that the application would impact endangered species and ancient and wet woodlands.

    The Planning Inspector agreed to continue reviewing the appeal and held a Hearing with the appellants, local residents, and Town Council representatives on 6 and 7 February 2024.

    Cllr. Jackie Love (Town Mayor) and Cllr. Karen Bedwell (Chair of Uckfield Town Council Plans Committee), supported by the Town Clerk, spent many hours reading and digesting the documents submitted as part of the application to put forward a statement of case to the Planning Inspectorate.

    The same process was carried out for the full Planning Inquiries of Bird In Eye Farm and Downlands Farm in September and October 2023.

    The above Councillors attended the hearing for Land at Mockbeggars Farm on 6 and 7 February 2024 to present their statement of case.

    Whilst disappointed with the outcome of the hearing and the Planning Inspector’s decision, Uckfield Town Council would like to thank the Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, Mr. Worden, for allowing the residents to ‘have a voice’ and for taking the time to visit them at their homes and onsite with representatives of Uckfield Town Council – an opportunity not afforded to many residents in the current climate.


    A Landscape Strategy Plan for the Application can be viewed here

    Full details of the Application can be viewed here

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