Comments on Planning Applications

Below is a list of comments made by Westfield Parish Council. Links have been made available to the planning portal where residents can find all of the relevant documents for each planning application. This page will also list the pending applications to be commented on for the next Full Council meeting. Rother District Council is our Parish’s Local Planning Authority. Each week they send the Parish Clerks across Rother a weekly planning list. The most current list can be found by clicking here.

Commented on – 23rd December Extraordinary General meeting
  • RR/2021/2773/P – Plough Inn, The Moor, Westfield TN35 4QR. Conversion of building to provide two dwellings. Retention of part of building as public house with flat above and erection of single storey rear extension. Conversion of exiting outbuilding to pub dining and provision of pub garden. Erection of side extension to provide beer store. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments – GENERAL COMMENT – Key concern is that the garden needs to be retained as part of the public house property rather than potentially be sold off at a later date.  The Council would ask Rother looks to ensure that if permission is given it is only done if the car park and garden remain attached to the property to safe guard this area from additional development.  Cllrs would also question the sequencing of the works.  It would be easy for the houses to be developed and then there be no monies left over to develop the outhouse and public house.  Therefore Rother are again asked to ensure that the commercial aspects of the development are carried out first before any residential development takes places.  Highways have already highlighted concerns about the lack of parking for the houses and flat which the parish Council would echo.  The proposed outhouse does not seem as big as the former bar/eating area so it would be useful to get clarification on this to ensure there is no overall loss of commercial space.  This does seem the best application so far however the applicant has still not demonstrated that the whole site is not commercially viable.
    • Rother Decision – UNDECIDED
  • RR/2021/2820/P – Buckhurst Cottage, Bluemans Lane, Westfield TN33 0SE. Demolish existing conservatory and erection of two storey front, side and rear extensions and alterations to redesign existing dwelling. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments – No objection to planning application.
    • Rother Decision – UNDECIDED
  • RR/2021/2899/P – 115 Westfield Lane, Westfield TN37 7NF. Proposed demolition of single storey side extensions and construction of replacement 2 storey extension and rear first floor extension. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments – No objection to planning application.
    • Rother Decision – UNDECIDED
Comments on via the Clerk’s delegated authority in consultation with the Chairman and Councillors – 8th Dec meeting CANCELLED
  • RR/2021/2628/P – Byways, Kent Street, Westfield TN33 0SF. Proposed rear extension with loft conversion/new roof including dormer windows, juliet balcony and rooflights, and front entrance porch. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comment: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish council does not object to this planning application.
    • Rother Decision – REFUSED
  • RR/2021/2768/P – Redlays Farm, Cottage Lane, Westfield TN35 4RR. Variation of section S52 agreement non-serverance clause imposed on planning permission RR/87/0190 to allow the sale of part of holding. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comment: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish Council supports this application.
    • Rother Decision – REFUSED
  • RR/2021/2808/P – The Maples, 50 Westfield Lane, Westfield TN37 7NG. Proposed single storey rear extension. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comment: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish Council has no objections to this planning application.
    • Rother Decision – REFUSED
Items reviewed at the 10/11/2021 Full Council meeting
  • RR/2021/2337/P – Little Holme, Westbrook Lane, Westfield TN35 4PN. Conversion of existing detached annexe building to create a new two bedroom dwelling, with new balcony to the rear. Associated division of plot to provide amenity space and detached outbuilding to be converted into summerhouse. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish council does not object to this planning application.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/2561/FN – Redlays Farm, Cottage Lane, Westfield TN35 4RR. Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed agricultural barn. This notification is for information only. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – The Parish Council would like to reiterate their support for this planning application. The Parish Council is unclear why pervious applications have been refused. This is a rural business which requires an additional barn for it’s purpose as a farm. the summary confirms that: The new proposed barn will be situated in an agricultural farmyard with the existing buildings the location of a slurry lagoon. There is agricultural justification and site is within an agricultural unit. Site is an agricultural unit which is some 80 acres and therefore falls under Interpretation D. 1 (1). The development is Class A (b) which is reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture. The farm will benefit from a new barn to support essential farming needs. The Parish Council supports the building of the barn to support this local business.
    • Rother Decision – Planning Required
  • RR/2021/1751/P – Wheel Park Farm Industrial Estate, Wheel Lane, Westfield TN35 4SE Variation of conditions 2, 4, and 5 imposed on RR/2015/703/P (pursuant to outline planning permission RR/2011/2636/P) to allow an amended design for unit A. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – The Parish Council supported the previous planning applications R/2015/703/P and the outline planning RR/2011/2636/P. The Parish Council also supports the proposed variations.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/2469/P – Irelands Farm, Kent Street, Westfield TN33 0SB – Conversion/change of use of existing stable including removal of green house to form holiday let. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – The Parish Council supports this planning application.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/2470/P and RR/2021/2471/L – Irelands Farm, Kent Street, Westfield TN33 0SB Replacement of side extension, removal of green house, internal alteration, replacement of doors and windows, new sewage treatment plant, new air source heat pump. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – The Parish Council supports this planning application.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/2626/P – 20 Westfield Lane, Westfield TN37 7NG Demolition of single storey structure on side of existing dwelling. Erection of new detached dwelling with associated facilities. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish Council is concerned about over development of the site. 
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
Items commented on via Clerk’s delegated authority in Consultation with Cllrs
  • RR/2021/2167/P – 88 Westfield Lane, Glenwood, Westfield TN37 7NQ. Removal of sun-room to side elevation. Proposed two storey extension, single storey extension, dormer window and new roof design to front elevation. Creation of new dormers to rear. Internal alterations to facilitate the same. Proposed new attached double garage. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish council does not object to this planning application.
    • Rother Decision – Approved Conditional.
  • RR/2021/1890/P – Little Hides, Stonestile Lane, TN35 4PH. Single storey extension to rear with balcony above (continuing from existing balcony). Single storey extension to the front with new entrance porch. Double garage to join new front extension. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish council does not object to this planning application.
    • Rother Decision – Approved Conditional.
  • RR/2021/1864/P – Rose Cottage, Main Road, Westfield TN35 4QE. Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of replacement dwelling. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish council does not object to this planning application. Cllrs noted the position of the property and the historical features of the property. The building is not listed and in planning terms Cllrs could not see any reason to object to the planning application.
    • Rother Decision – Refused.
  • RR/2021/1698/P – Hop and Hare Farm, Stonestile Lane, Westfield TN35 4PH. Use of land for camping for holiday purposes, including provision of shower and WC cubicles and water points(retrospective). Change of use of agricultural/forestry building. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: OBJECT – The path leading down to this site is Westfield Path 50b and is a restricted byway. These rights of way only allows a right of way on foot, on horseback, or leading a horse, cycling and for any vehicles other than mechanically propelled vehicles. In some cases there may also be a right to drive animals. Therefore this track is wholly unsuitable to sustain up to 30 cars at a time. The Council also has serious concerns on the environmental impact of such an increased usage of land within the AONB. No details have been given on any mitigation to the AONB and surrounding biodiversity. No details have been given how the water from the showers and how human waste is being managed other than they are ’emptied weekly’. With such an increase of usage on the site were is all of this water and waste going? Overall it seems an over intensification of use for the site.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/1746/P – 43 Baldslow Down, Westfield, TN37 7NJ. Proposed ground floor flat roof extension with lantern, alterations and enlargement of existing rear dormer, and formation of pitched roofs over existing front dormer and bay window roofs. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – Proposed changes seem to improve the overall look of the building.
    • Rother Decision – Approved Conditional.
  • RR/2021/1757/P – Westfield Down – Land At, Main Road, Westfield TN35 4SL. Variation of Condition 2 (approved plans) of planning approval RR/2019/1067/P to allow for revised design of changing rooms building. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – The Parish Council worked with Court Developments and the Football Club with the proposed designs.
    • Rother Decision – Approved Conditional.
  • RR/2021/1418/P – Restharrow, Moat Lane, Westfield TN33 0RZ. Variation of condition 2 on RR/2020/551/P to allow raising of floor level; raising of West lawn level up by 100mm at the West of the dwelling; provision of fully glazed facade to West elevation; provision of external enclosure to house air source heat pump and refuse bins; reduction in height of building and increase in gross internal floor area of 1.5m2 to 247.5m2. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: OBEJCT – The Parish Council has no objection to the proposed alterations to the building designs. However there are serious concerns about the changes in levels. Neighbours have already reported issues with water in the area. The Parish Council would ask that a Planning Officer would look to visit the site and see the impact the changes of the levels has. Also it is noted that from the original planning application that any hedgerows if damaged should be replaced with a similar sizer and species. It seems that many of the original hedgerows have been removed and replaced with a non native fir tree. We would ask that this matter is also investigated before any final decision is given on this planning application.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/1888/P – Heather Cottage, Moor Lane, Westfield TN35 4QU. Proposed first floor side extension on top of existing side extension with mezzanine areas. Proposed porch to front elevation. Internal minor alterations. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – The Parish Council supports this planning application.
    • Rother Decision – Approved Conditional.
  • RR/2021/1927/P – 11 Stablefield, Westfield,TN35 4QW. Proposed single storey rear extension, first floor side extension, enclosed rear facing balcony and internal alterations. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish Council does not object to any of the ground floor or first floor extension. However Cllrs have concerns about the potential impact of the enclosed balcony and the impact on neighbours. If this aspect of the planning application was removed Cllrs would support the application.
    • Rother Decision – Approved Conditional.
Items reviewed at the 08/09/2021 Full Council meeting
  • RR/2021/1019/P – Sandhole Farm, Westfield Lane, Westfield TN35 4SA. Removal of timber log cabin and replacement with brick and tiled dwelling for farm manager/owner, change of use of land to residential curtilage and new access road. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – The Parish Council supports this application.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/1094/O – Holland House, Hoads Farm, Moat Lane, Westfield TN33 0RY. Certificate of Lawfulness for an existing residential mobile home. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish Council can neither confirm nor deny if the mobile home has been in continuous use as residential for any period of time.
    • Rother Decision – Refused
  • RR/2021/1197/P – 1 Stablefields – Land at, Westfield TN35 4QW. Construction of 2no. detached dwelling houses. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: OBJECTS – The Parish Council has considered this application and objects to the proposal. The site is an overdevelopment and inappropriate for this area. Westfield needs to maintain its green spaces to retain its distinctive character of a rural village. This development would be an overdevelopment squeezing two houses on a site which would see the removal of trees, hedgerows and a green space. The development also would have a negative impact on the surrounding properties by overlooking these properties and impacting on their light and privacy. Regarding the access Cottage Lane is already a very busy road particularly at school drop off and pick up when parking and traffic becomes a problem to the point of endangering those who use the road. In particular the school children who also walk to school via Cottage Lane. The proposal to increase any more traffic on this road the Parish Council strongly objects to.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/1218/P – Hop and Hare Farm, Stonestile Lane, Westfield TN35 4PH. Variation of condition 2 imposed on RR/2018/888/P to amend the roof profile of previously approved agricultural/forestry building and increase one side to two-storey. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: OBJECTS – Council notes the original planning application RR/2018/888/P. The RDC officer noted that the building would be very noticeable in its original design. This new planning application would further increase the roof height and created a bigger impact on the surrounding AONB landscape. This goes against policies DEN1 and DEN2 in the DaSA in accordance with Core Strategy EN1. These policies require development to “maintain and reinforce the natural and built landscape character of the area in which it is to be located” and development within the AONB should be “should be small-scale, in keeping with the landscape and settlement pattern.” The Parish Council feels that this increase in height and change in roof profile does not meet these conditions.
    • Rother Decision – Application was Withdrawn.
  • RR/2021/1473/P – The Old Chicken Barn, Hoads Farm, Moat Lane, Westfield TN33 0RY. Replace existing chicken barn with 1no detached house on same footprint and raising to accommodate a second floor, however lowering the pitch of the roof to keep the new height to a minimum. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: OBJECT – Council noted that the existing building had walls around 4 inches thick and the whole building was in very poor condition.  This planning application would not be a conversion of the building but a complete replacement.  It was also noted that this site is a commercial site not residential so the Parish Council requests that a change of use is first sought.  There has been no evidence that the site is no longer commercially viable in line with RDC Core Strategy policy EC3 Existing Employment Sites and Policy DCO1: Retention of Sites of Social or Economic Value.  The site is also outside of the development boundary.  The proposed plans contravene with policies in the DaSA Policy DEN1: Maintaining Landscape Character and Policy DEN2: The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  The two storey building would be clearly viable making a dramatic impact on the landscape.  The size is also out of character for the area with some 3000sqft of living space.  Policy RA3 Development in the Countryside also states that “the creation of new dwellings in extremely limited circumstances” and for dwellings they must be “of appropriate size, siting and design.”  This development does not meet any of these criteria.
    • Rother Decision – Refused.
  • RR/2021/1490/P – Little Down Farm, Main Road, Westfield TN35 4SL. Laying of recycled crush surface associated with the change of use from agriculture to a use for the storage and processing of timber.  Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: OBJECT – In starting discussions about the site it was noted that the address is wrong as this is not Little Down Farm’ it is in fact ‘Downoak Farm’.   There is no connectivity between the site and Little Down Farm which are in fact separated by woodland and mature hedgerows. Councillors also noted that the boundary shown for the application is wrong and the field is in fact lined by hedges and trees and activities are happening on a much wider scale in the area outside of the drawn boundary.  Several of the neighbouring residents have kept a clear log of the regular and completely unacceptable level of disturbance created from this site with the current activities including: 
      1. Activities operating up to seven days a week from the early hours to late in the evening. 
      2. The levels of noise and dust have been at levels which has directly impacted the neighbour’s quality of life. 
      3. The level of traffic down the small country tracks has dramatically increased. 
    • The applicant’s agent cites “Policy DEN2 repeats the objectives for the AONB found in Policy EN1 of the Core Strategy” but does not show how the application is compliant with this policy.  The Council feels the scale of proposed activities on the site and the level of commercial activities as highlighted by the letters and photos received from the neighbours show that this site does not comply with these policies.  The site is in fact having a significantly detrimental effect on the AONB and landscape character as the current operations do not give particular care “to maintain the sense of tranquillity of more remote areas, including through maintaining ‘dark skies” nor is there any evidence to “conserve and seek to enhance its landscape and scenic beauty” again evidenced in the photos supplied by neighbours.  The Parish Council has reviewed all the letters from residents and asks that RDC Officers take into account the many valid planning objections they raise including: 
      • Inaccuracies in the application re boundary and name along with text within the application which one resident has listed in detail. 
      • No clarity for the requirement to use this site for such activities. 
      • The activities are not ‘ancillary’ and in fact are large scale on a commercial level. 
      • The lack of detail in the current or intensification of activities on the site further and for this reason all aspects of the development should be set out. 
      • The non-conformity of planning permission RR/2005/2258/P where the buildings are conditioned, “not to be used for any purpose other than for private recreational purposes & shall not be used for hire or reward.” 
      • The restrictive covenant on the land, which is a common covenant for other properties on the Down oak estate relating to the 9 acres (ESX 293175).  This clearly states “to be a nuisance annoyance or inconvenience to the Transferor or his successors in title or the owners or occupiers of the adjoining or neighbouring land and the remainder of the farm.  Clearly this is not being met considering the number of residents complaining and the level of detail they give on how it is causing a nuisance and impacting on them. 
      • The lack of compliancy with a number of key policies including: 
        1. DEN1 – maintaining landscape character DEN2 – As outlined above. 
        2. The High Weald AONB DEN4 – Biodiversity and green space – Development proposals should support the conservation of biodiversity.  There are no details give how this policy is adhered to and no details on how the site will enhance or conserve the biodiversity of the site.  
        3. DEN5 – Sustainable drainage – No details with the application have been given on managing any run-off from the site on the scale for “greenfield run-off”. 
        4. DEN7 – Environmental pollution – specifically noise in a sensitive area. NPPF states that policy makers must avoid noise from giving rise to significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life.  From the evidence form the neighbours it would also show that this policy is not being complied with. 
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/021/1611/P – Pattletons Barn, Doleham Lane, Westfield TN35 4ST. Erect rear extension and install new doors. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – The Parish Council supports this application.
    • Rother Decision – Refused.
  • RR/2021/1625/P – Tree Tops – Land adjoining, off Cottage Lane, Westfield TN35 4QG. Outline application with all matters reserved for the erection of a single storey dwelling. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: OBJECT – The Parish Council objects to this development for several reasons. Firstly the development is outside the development boundary. Therefore it is not in a sustainable village location. Westfield has a housing target of 85 houses within the DaSA. These housing numbers are being met with the current land allocation. There is no evidence that this planning application supports the wider housing need of the Parish. It is important that the development boundary is adhered to stop urban sprawl into protected areas especially those within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Policy RA2 General Strategy for the Countryside states that the overall strategy is to “Strictly limit new development to that which supports local agricultural, economic or tourism needs and maintains or improves the rural character.” This planning application does not meet any of these criteria. Policy RA3 Development in the Countryside states that new dwellings will only be allowed in extremely limited circumstances: a) Dwellings to support farming and other land-based industries. Normally, accommodation will initially be provided on a temporary basis for a period of three years. Both temporary and permanent dwellings will be subject to appropriate occupancy conditions, and all applications should comply with the following criteria: i. Demonstrate a clearly established functional need, relating to a full-time worker primarily employed in the farming and other land-based businesses; ii. Demonstrate the functional need cannot be fulfilled by other existing accommodation in the area; iii. Demonstrate the unit and the agricultural activity concerned are financially sound and have a clear prospect of remaining so; iv. Dwellings are of appropriate size, siting and design. b) The conversion of traditional historic farm buildings in accordance with Policy RA4; c) The one-to-one replacement of an existing dwelling of similar landscape impact; or d) As a ‘rural exception site’ to meet an identified local affordable housing The current planning application does not meet any of these requirements. Policy DEN2: The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) states “All development within or affecting the setting of the High Weald AONB shall conserve and seek to enhance its landscape and scenic beauty. This planning application does not meet these requirement as it is outside the development boundary, provides an important green space within the area to maintain the open rural characteristic of the lane. It would also have a great impact on the wildlife and biodiversity of the neighbouring protected trees due to the close proximity to the proposed retained trees. It is likely that significant root damage would be caused during the development along with disturbance to the local wildlife. Although there is a ‘right of way’ across the frontage of Tree Tops this is only to access the land. There is no permission to lay down a permanent road into the adjoining land nor is it suitable in its current state to support regular vehicle access or any heavy duty vehicles. If officers visit the site it is clear the access into the site is next to a steep bank also making the regular usage for vehicles not sustainable as this would in time undermine the bank itself. The proposed access also runs along side the 1066 footpath. Increased vehicle traffic down this road on a well-used footpath should be strongly discouraged in favour of walkers of this route.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/1647/P – Little Hides Farm Cottage, Stonestile Lane, Westfield TN35 4PH. Change of use from land that is non-compliant with agricultural occupancy to curtilage of an existing residential property. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: GENERAL COMMENT – The Parish Council sees no evidence of why it is necessary it increase the residential curtilage of this property as none has been submitted. The land is agricultural so Council questions whether this needs a change of use from agricultural to residential with all the relevant evidence for such a change. The applicant states they are “seeking the change of use…to increase the size of the curtilage and keep the whole scenery of AONB intact; this is in line with paragraph 115 of the NPPF in relation to landscape and scenic beauty.” However there is no evidence of how this is achieved. Until these matters have been addressed the Parish Council asks that the RDC Officer seeks to defer any decision until further evidence has been obtained to answer these questions.
    • Rother Decision – Undecided.
  • RR/2021/1824/P – 3 Cottage Mews, Main Road, Westfield TN35 4QE. Proposed alterations including garage conversion, enlargement of existing rear raised decking and erection of garden shed. Click here to view application.
    • Parish Council Comments: SUPPORT – The Parish Council supports this application subject to no neighbours being overlooked.
    • Rother Decision – Approved Conditional.
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