Rother & Hastings District Update November 2021

11th November 2021

CPRE Sussex activity in Rother & Hastings District

Let us celebrate a success first of all with the approval of a Neighbourhood Plan for the town and well-known tourist attraction of Battle.  A long time in its genesis, starting off in February 2015, it was finally approved at referendum in September 2021. The effort has been well worth it though with such innovative ideas as a survey of broadband speeds throughout the town and its own design guidelines to run in parallel with those of the High Weald.

An appeal has been lost at Fairlight where a speculator’s proposal was to cram 16 houses into a small site, for ‘viability reasons’. The proposals to which the Rother Planning Committee objected, rightly in our view, contained several gardens which were below the minimum size required by Rother District Council. The Inspector’s comment was ‘(They) may suit those who find gardening a chore.’ The proposals also contain no footways on a cul-de-sac of 16 houses.  The Inspector’s comments on this were ‘Even if footways were to be constructed, it is likely that residents would use private motor vehicles to access services and employment.’  Hardly the greenest of decisions in the light of COP 26 and our climate crisis.

Only slow progress to report on the new Rother Local Plan with meetings with town and parish councils to discuss the results of Rother District Council’s call for sites, which has brought forth some extremely speculative sites. However, the mood music from the Council is promising  in terms of the new Local Plan becoming a key delivery vehicle for its response to the Climate Emergency.