Homes plan gets thumbs down from councillors

A VACANT piece of land in St Leonards will not be used to build 14 new homes, much to the delight of residents.

Developers wanted to build the houses, together with garages, on the strip of grassland at the east side of Fern Road.

But councillors poured scorn on the scheme at their planning meeting last Wednesday (April 27) and refused it, amid objectors’ cheering in the public gallery.

Keith Milchem, of Fern Road, St Leonards, received scores of signatures on a petition he set up in protest against the scheme.

He said: “This development is in the wrong place and should be refused. There was an earlier application for eight detached houses but now there is one for 14 semi-detached ones. There are no semi-detached homes here so this will not be in keeping.

“No action has been taken on how the drainage of the land will affect the water table.”

Developers from The Park Lane Group submitted their application back in October 2009 but it was deferred so more information on drainage and stability issues could be obtained.

Councillor Matthew Beaver said: “Clearly this is not considered to be in keeping with existing properties. There has been no geotechnical report brought before us regarding the existing and future stability of the site.

“There are no letters of support as far as I can see, so this is opposed by everyone.

“This is not a suitable place for these houses because of land slip.”

Cllr Andrew Gurney also condemned the plans, saying the development would be “detrimental” to the surrounding area.

Cllr Godfrey Daniel, chairman of the planning committee, had supported the development.

He said: “We live in a town where we need all sorts of houses for people to live in.”