Redgeland Rise site could get new lease of life

HOMES could finally be built on a derelict, council-owned garden nursery site almost 10 years after the first plans were submitted.

Planning consultants Kember Louden Williams Ltd of Eridge, near Tonbridge Wells has applied to build 28 dwellings on Redgeland Rise.

A report by planning officer Sam Batchelor recommended councillors approved the bid at committee meeting despite two letters of objection.

It states the council owns the site but its greenhouses were demolished several years ago.

There are a number of trees with tree preservation orders surrounding the site which is currently currently covered in pampas grass.

The first application was made back in November 2002 to build 28 four bedroom houses but was withdrawn.

In May 2004 a plan to build 28 two and three bedroom homes was approved but never built.

In June 2006 an application for 40 dwellings on a new cul-de-sac off Redgeland Rise was withdrawn.

The same plan was resubmitted four months later and refused.

An appeal launched in May 2007 over the decision was turned down.

In June 2008 outline planning permission for 36 residential units comprising flats and houses was refused.

In October 2010 an application for 32 dwellings was withdrawn.

Residents living nearby claim the scheme would encroach on their property, impact on wildlife and existing trees and increase the amount of traffic in the area.

But Mr Batchelor argued that the scheme was acceptable and there would be “no material harm to the neighbourhood in general or to adjoining residents in particular.”

Ward councillor Phil Scott has worked with residents to help strike a balance between what the developer wants and the needs of residents.

He said: “The site has been the subject of a number of planning applications over a good many years.

“Some were simply an over development or an inappropriate type of development and that has not been acceptable at all.

“I have continued over the years to work with local residents to get the most appropriate type of development on this small site.

“By working with residents, architects and planners we have achieved probably the best outcome that we could. I would not want to see this site back before the council in three years time.”