Plan for three homes to replace Crawley Down bungalow refused

Plans to demolish a bungalow in Crawley Down and replace it with three four-bedroom houses have been refused by Mid Sussex District Council.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 3:39 pm

The application for Station Road attracted 128 letters of objection, with concerns including overdevelopment of the site, road safety issues and fears the new homes would be out of keeping with the area.

Members of the planning committee were divided over the plans.

While many shared concerns about road safety – specifically the siting of one of the new driveways close to the junction with Vicarage Road – they were concerned that a refusal would be overturned on appeal because there had been no objection from the West Sussex highways team.

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Others felt that building three houses on the site would be overdevelopment. An earlier application to build four homes was withdrawn because of similar concerns.

Chairman Gary Marsh (Con, Ardingly & Balcombe) agreed that three houses would be too many but warned the committee that the council could face a hefty bill if the application was allowed on appeal.

He added: “We’ve learned through our painful experience on many occasions that if [West Sussex] highways don’t agree with us we cannot really go against them.

“They are the experts when all is said and done.”

After voting down the officer’s recommendation to approve the plans, the committee refused the application on the grounds that the plot sizes were smaller than others in the area, contrary to the Crawley Down Neighbourhood Plan.

Three other applications were approved by the committee.

The first was to build two homes in Street Lane, Ardingly.

The second was to change the use of a bungalow – Frank’s House – at Farney Close School in Bolney to a teaching suite.

The third was to demolish buildings at the Mill Nursery, in Hassocks, and replace them with four four-bedroom houses.