Perspective Sketch of Foundry Close development

Optivo acquires the approved Foundry Close scheme

Housing association, Optivo acquires HG35 Foundry Close scheme

** November 2021 **

The Parish Council and the Neighbourhood Plan understand from Rother District Council that Optivo (a Housing Association that already owns and manages affordable housing in Hurst Green) have agreed a package deal with the landowners of the HG35, and with Greymoor Homes for them to build the housing development. 

The approved scheme was for 20 homes. The planning permission sets out a requirement for 6 of the homes to be for Affordable Rent and 2 of the homes for Shared Ownership. The remaining 12 homes were due to be for open market sale, as per Rother District Council policy, however we understand that Optivo are proposing for those 12 homes to be for Shared Ownership sale. 

Shared Ownership is a form of low cost home ownership that allows first time buyers who can’t afford to purchase on the open market to buy their own home and make a start on the housing ownership ladder. Buyers begin by purchasing a share of between 25% and 75%, and then over time can purchase further shares until fully owned.

We understand that Optivo are also seeking to change the approved housing mix, reducing the number of 4 bedroom properties from 7 to 3, changing these instead to 3 bedroom properties.

http://planweb01.rother.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/planningDetails?reference=RR/2019/2194/P&from=planningSearch

View the original Parish Council’s response to the planning application here: https://hurstgreen2030.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Foundry-Close-Planning-Application-RR20192194P-on-site-HG-35-Parish-Council.pdf

New London Road planning application​

London Road planning application

The developers behind the London Road (HG22/HG43) site have applied for planning permission ahead of the Neighbourhood Plan being completed.
The site was first identified as a possibility for new housing in 2018 and is adjacent to the Hurst Green Development Boundary.
The area like the entire parish, falls within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). 
View the application and read the supporting documents here:

picture of a roadside curb

New Hurst Green housing report on affordable housing

The Parish Council has commissioned a report, funded by a Central Government grant, as part of the evidence base for the emerging neighbourhood plan.

Whilst homes in the parish continue to be more affordable than in neighbouring settlements, sadly homes to purchase in Hurst Green continue to be beyond the scope of many.

Current evidence points towards a need for between eight and 30 affordable homes to be delivered over the Plan period in Hurst Green. The report states that this should be achievable through the allocation of sites in the Neighbourhood Plan, in addition to the site already having planning permission, however only where the affordable threshold is fully met. 

The Local Call for Sites and subsequent Site Assessment process for the Neighbourhood Plan has revealed sufficient sites within and adjacent to Hurst Green Village to deliver the required quantum of development, including the affordable quota. That said, this would be focussed on the village of Hurst Green rather than the outlying settlements. Whilst the evidence on housing need demonstrates that the focus of need is in Hurst Green village, a modest affordable housing need in Silver Hill exists. Silver Hill does not have a development boundary and is therefore considered as ‘countryside’ in local planning terms. Despite this, the report highlights that consideration needs to be given as to whether any of the sites in Silver Hill might be suitable for residential development and, if so, whether there might be a case to argue for their inclusion within the overall housing target.

The full report is at: https://hurstgreen2030.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Affordable-Housing-Report-July-2021.pdf

Promoter of the potential housing site, HG6 to hold public exhibition

The Parish Council has received a letter from the site promoters / landowners of the HG 6 potential housing site to inform us that they will be holding a public exhibition outside of the neighbourhood plan process, where they will be presenting their thoughts for a residential development on Land at London Road (HG6), before they seek to advance an application for Planning Permission.  

The exhibition is to take place outside the former Hurst Green Community Shop, on the 9th of July 2021 between 12:00pm (noon) and 8:00pm.

According to the invitation, members of the site promoter’s team, Wooldridge Developments, will be on hand to answer resident questions.


Early concept designs for additional homes off London Road

Early concept designs for additional new homes off London Road

As with all of the possible Housing Sites in the Hurst Green Neighbourhood Plan process, in 2019 landowners and developers were  invited to put forward their concepts and ideas for consideration by the public and the Neighbourhood Plan Housing Group.

In April 2021, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group received a preliminary concept proposal for consideration from the landowners of the HG 6 potential site.  The potential site off London Road, is to the west of the A21 and is currently grass pasture land. 

The site was first identified by the landowner and Rother District Council as a possibility for new housing in the early 2000’s, and again in 2013 and 2016, and is outside of the Hurst Green Development Boundary. The area like the entire parish, falls within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). 

The landowner/developers are proposing 30 new dwellings. The early concept design plan does not indicate a housing type breakdown, however we assume it will be in-line with Rother District Council housing mix policy.

Residents should note that while the site was identified as part of the call for sites process, that this or the receipt of this concept proposal from the landowner does not mean the site will be allocated for development or included in the Neighbourhood Plan. It is a technical exercise aimed at identifying potential sites and options for development. With public consultation, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the Parish Council will then consider how best to take the plan forward. For more information on the stages, please see the milestones section of this website.

As these materials do not form part of a planning application, or the formal Neighbourhood Plan consultation, anyone with comments or thoughts to pass on to the landowner and their agents is warmly invited to contact a member of the neighbourhood plan Steering Group or any Hurst Green Parish Councillor.

You can review the preliminary concept materials as part of the Housing Documents section of this site.In

Plans for the Hurst Green park regeneration receives a boost

Plans for the Hurst Green park regeneration receives a boost from District Council Community Grant

In March 2021, Hurst Green was awarded a £30k grant from Rother District Council’s Community Grant programme towards the regeneration of the Children’s Park located in the centre of Hurst Green village.

The grant, applied for by Hurst Green parish Councillors, followed resident consultation carried out during the Neighbourhood Plan process that uncovered that many local children see the park as being a drab and unstimulating place to spend time. 

Designed back in the late 90’s, much of play equipment itself is not accessible to all, with provision for those with physical and, or mental impairments being particularly lacking. 

The plan is an exciting redesign that will provide improved facilities that can be used by children of all ages and that will provide a play balance that will include active, sensory, creative, imaginative, manipulative, social, and reflective play. Ensuring that all children who visit, have access, as far as possible, to the experience.

Along with new children’s play equipment, the plan is to improve the overall space, and give the revamped park a strong sense of place that speaks to the culture, location, and “spirit” of our rural community.

The District Council commentary remarked that “this project supports the delivery of the aims and objectives of the Hurst Green Neighbourhood Plan and springboards the aspirations of a Community Hub for the village.” 

Early concept designs for additional homes at Foundry Close

Early concept designs for additional new homes off Foundry Close

As with all of the possible Housing Sites in the Hurst Green Neighbourhood Plan process, in 2019 landowners and developers were  invited to put forward their concepts and ideas for consideration by the public and the Neighbourhood Plan Housing Group.

On the 4th of December 2020, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group received a preliminary concept proposal for consideration from the landowners of the HG 40 and HG 42 sites.  The potential site off Foundry Close, is to the east of the A21 and is currently a mixture of grass pasture land and scrub land. 

These sites were first identified as a possibility for new housing in 2013 and is outside of the Hurst Green Development Boundary. The area like the entire parish, falls within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). 

The landowner/developers are proposing 42 new dwellings. The housing density shown is very high and as drawn, include no public amenities or areas. The early concept design plan does not indicate a housing type breakdown, however we understand the that landowner/developers are proposing:

  • 22 houses on the HG 40 site
  • 16 houses and 4 flats on the HG 42 site

Residents should note that while the site was identified as part of the call for sites process, that this or the receipt of this concept proposal from the landowner does not mean the site will be allocated for development or included in the Neighbourhood Plan. It is a technical exercise aimed at identifying potential sites and options for development. With public consultation, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the Parish Council will then consider how best to take the plan forward. For more information on the stages, please see the milestones section of this website.

As these materials do not form part of a planning application, or the formal Neighbourhood Plan consultation, anyone with comments or thoughts to pass on to the landowner and their agents is warmly invited to contact a member of the neighbourhood plan Steering Group or any Hurst Green Parish Councillor.

You can review the preliminary concept materials here as part of the Housing Documents section of this site.

Early concept designs for new homes and village green​

Early concept designs for new homes and a village green on London Road

As with all of the possible Housing Sites in the Hurst Green Neighbourhood Plan process, in 2019 landowners and developers were  invited to put forward their concepts and ideas for consideration by the public and the Neighbourhood Plan Housing Group.

On the 17th of December 2020, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group received a concept proposal for consideration from the landowners of the HG 22 site, which also includes the HG 43 site.  The potential site on London Road lies opposite Hurst Green School, to the east of the A21 and is currently grass pasture land. 

The site was first identified as a possibility for new housing in 2018 and is adjacent to the Hurst Green Development Boundary. The area like the entire parish, falls within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). 

The landowner/developers originally proposed 40 new dwellings, set adjacent to a new public village green that is roughly the same size as the Moor in Hawkhurst. In May 2021, the landowner/developers advised the Parish Council that they had reduced their plans to 36 new dwellings  The housing density shown is relatively low, the original concept plans showed a housing breakup consists of:

  • 4 houses and 2 flats that have 1 bedroom.
  • 7 houses and 4 flats that have 2 bedrooms
  • 9 houses and 3 bungalows that have 3 bedrooms.
  • 7 houses that have 4 bedrooms.
  • 4 houses that have 5 bedrooms.

The plans show that the landowner/developers are proposing a new pedestrian crossing which would link the site to the pavement on the opposite side of the A21.  The plans also show a new area of public woodland, which we understand may include some children’s public play equipment.

A new school drop off parking area is shown close to the pedestrian crossing. We understand this could be used by both the school and during the day for those visiting the green or walking the nearby public right of way that leads to Stage Field in Silver Hill. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have sent the received plans to the school for their comment. 

Parking is shown as including 2.6 car parking spaces per home, with 24 spaces allocated for visitors and 10 spaces as part of the school drop off area. 

Residents should note that while the site was identified as part of the call for sites process, that this or the receipt of this concept proposal from the landowner does not mean the site will be allocated for development. It is a technical exercise aimed at identifying potential sites and options for development. With public consultation, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the Parish Council will then consider how best to take the plan forward. For more information on the stages, please see the milestones section of this website.

As these materials do not form part of a planning application, or the formal Neighbourhood Plan consultation, anyone with comments or thoughts to pass on to the landowner and their agents is warmly invited to contact a member of the neighbourhood plan Steering Group or any Hurst Green Parish Councillor.

You can review the concept materials as part of the Housing Documents section of this site.

Perspective Sketch of Foundry Close development

District Council approve 20 new homes at Foundry Close

District Council approve 20 new homes at Foundry Close

On the 29th of October 2020, the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and Hurst Green Parish Council received a planning decision notice from Rother District Council, the notice outlined the approval for the planning application at Foundry Close.

In the works since the previous unsuccessful planning application by Millwood Designer Homes, the approved scheme features 20 new homes, and in a revision from the submitted application, this now contains 8 affordable homes. 

The approved scheme is smaller than the original, that proposed some 60 homes, but larger than the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and the Parish Council recommended, who based upon a report written for the Parish Council from consultancy AECOM, noted that the site, based on size alone, could only accommodate a maximum of 18 homes. The Land Owners, in a bid to obtain planning permission and an agreement around affordable homes, increased this to 20 new homes, with 8 of these to be affordable.

Despite the problems with parking in and around Hurst Green village,  the scheme’s parking provision is in accordance with, and higher than is required of new developments, as determined by the East Sussex County Council’s Residential Parking Demand Calculator. The approved scheme has 29 car parking spaces to be shared by the 20 new homes, with 17 further spaces being provided as unallocated parking bays. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group despite pushing for further spaces to be allocated, feel this allocation is too small for the development, with most families in Hurst Green having access to, or ownership of more than 1 car.  The unallocated parking spaces include 5 bays adjacent to the existing Foundry Close, which according to the District Council’s commentary, is intended to go some way towards meeting a need from existing local residents without on-plot parking to park their vehicles on Foundry Close.

Residents of Hurst Green may be surprised to learn that the planning documents reveal that both Highways England and East Sussex Highways were consulted in respect of the new development, and that neither raised any objections.

All of the homes are to be two storeys in height, although three of the dwellings are to be 2.5 storeys in height, containing roof dormers. There is a mix of elevational treatments consisting of weatherboard, tile hanging, brick and painted render; and a mix of plain tiles or slates to the roofs of the dwellings. 

The layout of the development retains provision for extending the site south to ensure that road access through the site to the adjacent Neighbourhood Plan HG40 site is provided and maintained.

The District Council have responded to the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group’s comment in the planning decision notice, noting that respect of the size of the proposed area annotated on the plan as ‘peace garden’, remarking that “as the applicant has pointed out this small public garden area has only been included at the suggestion of the Parish Council and there is no policy requirement to
provide public open space as part of the development. Moreover, the applicant has stated that it would not be in the applicant’s interest to leave this poorly landscaped or as a blank canvass as the applicants’ aim is to make the landscaping as attractive as possible with a view towards selling the houses.”

site layout of the approved foundry close scheme

http://planweb01.rother.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/planningDetails?reference=RR/2019/2194/P&from=planningSearch

View the original Parish Council’s response to the planning application here: https://hurstgreen2030.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Foundry-Close-Planning-Application-RR20192194P-on-site-HG-35-Parish-Council.pdf

picture of an apple orchard

Local business survey results

Local business survey launched - have your say

The Neighbourhood Plan Business and Tourism group have launched a local business survey to find out more about how local buisnesses feel about doing business in the Hurst Green area.

Are you a business owner, an employee of a local company, or perhaps thinking about starting a business, or a resident who is interested in local business? 

Please consider completing the online survey, it will only take a few minutes and will help us drive real change through the neighbourhood planning / improvement process. 

You can access the survey online at: [survey concluded]

For an alternative response method, or to request a paper format, please contact the Clerk to the Parish Council via email at clerk@hurstgreen-pc.org.uk or via telephone on 01580 860111.