Room for development?


Because of its failure to deliver sufficient housing completions in its planning area, Rother District Council has suffered the imposition of larger housing targets over the next few years. Rother’s cabinet has concluded that “the absence of a five-year supply of deliverable sites at the present time means that the development boundaries in the 2006 Local Plan and related restrictions on developments in the countryside must be acknowledged as being ‘out-of-date’” and that ” the general presumption in favour of sustainable development becomes a critical point when determining planning applications”.

Rother as the planning authority is now preparing to approve sites that accord with its Core Strategy, provided that they contribute to sustainable development, including circumstances where they are not within a development boundary. (A development boundary is the perimeter of a village or urban settlement previously designated as the extent beyond which housing development is not permitted).

This relaxation might be particularly relevant in the case of small sites for below 10 dwellings that are on or adjacent to the development boundary, if changes to the National Policy Planning Framework now before parliament are approved. If adopted by resolution of the full Rother council, it is an approach that could be seen as a small scale developer’s charter for sites both within and outside the current development boundary, which is no longer to be considered as sacrosanct,






Julian Luckett is chairman of the Conservation Society’s planning committee

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  1. Let us not forget, just across the river Tillingham, East Sussex County Council own the old rye grammer school playing fields, just a bridge needed to access these fields, which in the past was unthinkable.

  2. We have yet to hear from Rother DC about any possible local impact of this change but as Neighbourhood Planners we are in close touch with officers there about this. As Rye has an emerging Neighbourhood Plan, the Localism Act allows the Rye community to influence future development, which is exactly what we are working to do. Those neighbourhoods without plans are likely to be more vulnerable.


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