NEWSFLASH August 2020
A successful outcome at the MSDC planning meeting, with the Planning Committee refusing permission for the Tavistock site, turning down the application by a majority vote of 7 – 2. It recognised that the urban design of these blocks of flats was totally inappropriate in a village setting.
Tavistock And Summerhill School, Summerhill Lane Lindfield
The site of Tavistock and Summerhill School was subject to a highly inappropriate proposal for large blocks of flats that was withdrawn last year following widespread opposition. A subsequent application for 38 units is now under review. The new proposal remains, in our view, a transparently speculative attempt to overdevelop and urbanise the site and we have registered our opposition.
Previous proposed erection of 38 residential dwellings comprising 4 houses and 34 flats with associated internal access, surface-level car parking, landscaping with other infrastructure.
1 An array of blocks of flats is an alien, urban design concept that is entirely out of keeping with the rest of Lindfield’s built environment. The proposal therefore falls foul of both District and Village Plan policies that require respect for the character of an area.
The applicant’s “Design and Access Statement” makes much of how “less bad” this iteration is than their first attempt, but what has gone before is irrelevant. The current proposal must stand or fall on its own merits.
2 The bulk, scale and mass of three-storey blocks of flats situated on high ground will necessarily overlook surrounding houses, creating an overbearing effect and causing loss of privacy. The application is full of internal views, but none attempting to show a lack of impact on nearby neighbours.
3 The shameful absence of any affordable housing is in itself reason enough to reject the scheme. The applicant’s self-serving “Viability Report” offers only their arbitrary target of 20% minimum profit margin as justification. It is unclear how prices ranging from c. £300 – 800 K would do much for people in need of lower-cost housing.
This application was discussed at the Public Meeting held by Lindfield Parish Council on 19 February 2019 where strong objections were voiced.
The essence of the Society’s objections are shown above.