Agenda item - BH2020/00002 - Coombe Farm, Westfield Avenue North, Saltdean, Brighton - Full Planning

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Agenda item

BH2020/00002 - Coombe Farm, Westfield Avenue North, Saltdean, Brighton - Full Planning


Ward Affected: Rottingdean Coastal



1.    It was noted that an in-depth presentation had been provided by officers in advance of the meeting and was included on the council website detailing the scheme by reference to site plans, elevational drawings and photographs which showed the proposed scheme in the context of neighbouring development.


2.    The Planning Manager informed the committee that updates appeared on the late list, namely the merge of conditions 20 & 23, and deletion of conditions 18 & 28.




3.    John Ray spoke as Chair of the Saltdean Residents Association and noted the following: residents’ objections, the local GP surgery was full, there was no dental service, no senior school, primary school has 17 spaces available. A major concern for residents was construction traffic congestion. It was highlighted that pedestrians walk in the road when deliveries are taking place, and this would increase during construction. Other concerns related to construction noise, pollution – namely air quality and the blocking of roads for emergency services. The residents noted Southern Waters concerns regarding flooding. With regard to transport the development will be more than 600 metres from the closest bus stop and will increase traffic on the overburdened A259. The development is considered to residents, too large and will have a negative impact on the environment.


4.    Ward Councillor Mears submitted the following comments and requested they be read to the committee: As a ward councillor for Rottingdean Coastal I wish to object to the planning application for the following reasons: In my view this is a total over development of the site with the proposed 72 houses. In the Brighton & Hove Urban Fringe Assessment June 2014 site 48 Coombe Farm showed flooding as a key constraint with potential of 2.0 (57%) from a total site are of 3.48 with indicative number of dwelling 50. Total following site cluster limited to 2.1ha (55 Dwelling) across sites 48 (Coombe Farm) 48a 48b and 48c from combined total 71. This proposed development of 72 houses far exceeds that number cramming 72 on Coombe Farm.


I also have real concerns with regards to flooding, with any development to the rear of the site as this backs up to a very steep bank.


There is a very serious problem with Urban Fridge developments as there is no detail of existing infrastructure, this site at the back of Saltdean will cause even more problems to the area that has only one primary school, the nearest secondary schools are located in Rottingdean or Peacehaven.


Public transport to the back of Saltdean is limited and difficult, with real problems in the winter with ice and snow stopping the busses from running, you would also need to be really fit to cycle as the surrounding areas has very steep hills.


There is a medical centre in Saltdean, but with doctors’ surgeries already closed in Rottingdean and Woodingdean residents from these areas are travelling to Saltdean medical centre, a development of the size will put more pressure on doctors and dentist in Saltdean.


To build any large development without proper infrastructure is a serious problem for the future, leaving new residents with a home but no local support available, giving them no option but to travel outside of the area onto the busy A259 to access.


5.    Chris Frost spoke to the committee as the agent for the development and stated that the scheme would be for 72 new homes with landscaping on the site which has extant permission for 60 homes. The scheme had been developed with the council and will be high quality homes with low density. The agent has been in consultation with the Design Place panel and all development standards have been met, with 40% affordable housing on this sustainable development which includes electric vehicle points and cycle stores. The views of the, and from the South Downs National Park have been considered, along with access to the downs from the development. Construction management will take care and keep the residents informed. The works will start in early March 2021, should the committee grant permission and take approximately 2 years to complete.


Questions for the agent


6.    Councillor Miller was informed that the affordable housing would be in the north part of the site and would be the same design as the other properties on the site. The common area would be managed by a company set up for that purpose, and S106 monies would be put towards the upkeep.


7.    Councillor Fishleigh was informed that the traffic assessment did not see a harmful impact on the A259 from this allocated housing site. A temporary road for construction traffic has not been agreed and the highway plan was yet to be approved.


8.    Councillor Theobald was informed that levelling of the site and a drainage system were agreed as ways of dealing with flooding issues. The development included a number of different materials for properties throughout the site including roofing materials. Monies for public art would be agreed in the coming year.


Questions for officers


9.    Councillor Fishleigh was informed that the development qualifies for monies from both Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which was introduced 5 October 2020 and S106 agreement. These would cover affordable housing, artist components and an employment scheme, all site specific.  The S106 would be agreed through heads of terms whilst the CIL would start at commencement of the development and discussions were ongoing. Education provision will be paid through CIL, being agreed at commencement. The expectation of 17 is estimated for the primary school. The S106 calculations will show the impact of the scheme.


10. Councillor Miller was informed that the development had increased from 60 to 72 with a average of 21.5 dwellings per hectare, which is below the limit. The layout includes three times more open space than the previous design and introduces terraces into the scheme to achieve 12 more homes. The green spaces will be maintained in perpetuity with a density approximately the same as before with generous gardens and shared play spaces.


11. Councillor Childs was informed that the Head of Education agreed the figure of 17 spaces at the primary school and consultations have taken place.


12. Councillor Yates was informed that the density was considered appropriate.


13. Councillor Osborne was informed that the 21.5 dwellings per hectare was considered low. A variety of issues were considered including impact. The County ecologist and architect were consulted, and the density was deemed appropriate. The applicant had consulted the flooding authority and noted that flooding in this zone one site could be mitigated with permeable surfaces, runaways, and pathway drains to draw water away from the homes. Ground investigations on this matter are to take place.


14. Councillor Childs was informed that the South Downs National Park has a dark sky designation and the development would have a condition relating to this matter.




15. Councillor Fishleigh noted the city plan stated 50 dwellings for the housing allocated site, and now the proposal is for 72, 20% more than the previous scheme. The impact on the A259 was a concern on this road classed as one of the most dangerous in UK. The Councillor expressed concerns that monies from CIL and the S106 agreement would go to other sites in the city and not knowing how the CIL money would be spent was a material planning consideration. The councillor did not support the application.


16. Councillor Shanks considered the development to be well designed on land already agreed for housing. The councillor supported the application.


17. Councillor Theobald expressed concerns how the S106 monies would be spent and suggested the Saltdean lido or a playground. Concerns were also raised regarding the access to the site, the density, the wider impact on the area, loss of trees, flooding, and the strain on local doctors and dentists. The councillor requested that brownfield be used before this location and stated they were against the development.


18. Councillor Miller expressed no objections to developing the site and in principle had no issues, however, the proposals are considered worse than the previous scheme. The northern part of the development is considered too dense when compared to other schemes. The development, next to the South Downs National Park, has an urban feel which is not welcome. The councillor considered 52 dwellings would be better and stated they were against the development.


19. Councillor Childs expressed reservations relating to sustainable transport, transport links and education figures. The councillor stated they were in favour of the development with good design and 40% affordable housing, as housing was needed. The development was considered slightly dense, however, there would be local employment and public art. The Rottingdean schools will not be very accessible, however the councillor supported the application.


20. Councillor Henry noted this was an urban fringe site identified some years ago in the City Plan and felt the committee could not say no. The councillor considered the Members should guide development through local leadership and stated their support for the application.


21. Councillor Osborne expressed reservations regarding flooding, education, sustainable transport and the sustainability of the development. The councillor considered that discussions for CIL and S106 monies should start as early as possible. The affordable housing, high quality design and landscaping were all considered to be good and better than the extant permission. The councillor supported the application.


22. Councillor Littman noted the site was not in the South Downs National Park and there are no brownfield sites available. The site was identified under the urban fringe assessment and needs to be approved. The concerns regarding density are understood. The councillor supported the application.


23. Following the end of the debate the Chair invited the committee to vote: Out of the 9 Members present the vote was 6 to 3 that planning permission be granted.


24. RESOLVED: That the Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to be Minded to Grant planning permission, and subject to a s106 Planning Obligation and the conditions and informatives as set out in the report, SAVE THAT should the s106 Planning Obligation not be completed on or before the 24th February 2020 the Head of Planning is hereby authorised to refuse planning permission for the reasons set out in section 9 of the officers report.

Supporting documents:


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