Wealden planners have approved a major housing scheme in Stone Cross, following a redesign by developers.

On Thursday (December 14), Wealden District Council’s Planning Committee South approved plans to build 90 homes on land to the east of Hailsham Road and to the north of Peelings Lane. 

The scheme, which was granted outline planning permission back in 2021, was last considered by the committee in November. During that meeting, councillors raised concerns about the appearance of the site, in particular the use of white render on some of its larger buildings.

In light of their concerns, councillors deferred their decision, directing officers to see if developer Persimmon Homes would be open to using alternative materials. The scheme was subsequently amended. 

The specific changes were set out by Elouise Mitchell, a planning manager representing Persimmon Homes. She said:

“I am pleased to confirm that we have been able to make those changes requested and have replaced all render across the site with either tile-hanging or a variation in brick.

“We feel that this change is positive and result in a high-quality development that will remain a high-quality and attractive place to live for many generations to come. We would like to thank the council for the opportunity to make these changes and hope that members are now satisfied with the scheme.”

The changes were welcomed by committee members, who approved the plans on a majority vote following a short discussion. 

Proposing approval, Cllr Andrew Wilson (Lib Dem) said:

“Last time, I think I described the designs as being very similar to an urban warfare training centre. I am happy that this no longer looks like that.”

Cllr Geoffrey Draper (Con) added:

“It is refreshing and I think this committee does applaud the fact that things said at the original hearing have been taken on by the developers in a very responsible manner. 

“In line with what we said quite a few months ago, we as a committee will, I’m sure, like elephants, remember and have in the back of our heads those who are responsible developers when they come to us with other schemes in future. 

“Those who are less responsive will I think also be treated in a similar non-responsive way.”  

The development is expected to provide 32 affordable homes, as well as a children’s play area and ‘community amphitheatre’.

For further information on the proposals see application reference WD/2022/2974/MRM on the Wealden District Council website.