Gypsy and Traveller Plan Site Options

Gypsy and Traveller Plan Site Options May 2014

8. Sites Considered Unsuitable for Allocation

8.1. The following sites were also assessed according to the same suitability criteria as those proposed as site allocation options, but are currently deemed unsuitable for varying reasons. Table 4 below sets out the key reasons why these sites have been rejected at this stage in the process. Site assessments and plans are presented in the background evidence to this consultation document.

Table 4: Sites Considered Unsuitable for Allocation

Site details

Key reasons

Land adj. Valley Park North, Hextable

The original site promoted during the 2012 Call for Sites included both this land and the site option being considered to the south. The originally promoted site included a new point of access from the highway into the site, and 25 additional pitches. After having assessed the site for the suitability of this level of additional pitches, it was not deemed suitable due to the number of existing pitches on the adjacent land, creating a potential cumulative impact on the landscape (also taking into account the adjacent site of 70-72 Lower Road).

Polhill Park, Polhill

The site owners have informed the Council that this site does not have any further capacity to accommodate pitches within the site, and does not have the potential to physically expand so is unable to provide any additional pitches by extending the site.

Fort Halstead, Halstead

The Council has commissioned and published an assessment of the viability of the landowner's emerging redevelopment proposals. This assessment finds that, whilst viable opportunities for the redevelopment of the site exist, many mixed use development scenarios that could re-provide the number of jobs on the site are of marginal viability. At present, it is, therefore, not considered that there is scope for introducing additional uses with relatively low development values, such as gypsy and traveller pitches, within a redevelopment of the Major Employment Site area. This issue can be kept under review as the Gypsy and Traveller Plan develops and plans for the redevelopment of the site evolve between now and 2018 when DSTL is expected to have relocated away from the site.

Valley Farm North, Carters Hill, Underriver

This site has planning permission (SE/13/01179/FUL) for the demolition of a dwelling and erection of a new dwelling, therefore is no longer being promoted for use as a Gypsy and Traveller site.

Valley Farm South, Carters Hill, Underriver

The site is currently in agricultural use in a very open area of landscape. It lies opposite two listed buildings; hence any development on this site would impact upon their setting. Whilst the site is better connected to the centre of Underriver, the area is not considered to be a sustainable location for any new development.

Land adj. Cricket Pavilion, Underriver

This is a very small site, very remotely located away from the centre of Underriver. The site would not be within walking distance to the limited facilities in Underriver. There is no planning history on this site for use for Gypsy and Traveller pitches, and developing this site would therefore set a precedent for this land use in the open countryside, green belt, and AONB.

Romani Way, Hever Road, Edenbridge

This site does not have any further capacity to accommodate pitches within the site, and does not have the potential to physically expand so is unable to provide any additional pitches by extending the site.

Deers Leap Farm, Four Elms Road, Edenbridge

The site is very open in the countryside, and very visible from the highway. The site does not benefit from any previous planning permissions for this land use. It is not connected to the local settlement of Four Elms, which in itself is not considered to be a sustainable location for new development. There is a vast planning enforcement history on this site, including a compulsory purchase order undertaken by the Council to ensure the land could be restored back to its original state. The land is not available and therefore not considered suitable or deliverable for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation for the reasons set out above.

Land West of Enterprise Way, Edenbridge

The Planning Inspector who was examining the Allocations and Development Management Plan (ADMP) has recommended a 'main modification' to the document, to allocate the identified site, land west of Enterprise Way, Edenbridge, for housing development, and therefore indicated that it would be incompatible for this site also to be considered for Gypsy and Traveller pitches.

Barnfield Park, Ash

The Council consider that this site is unsuitable for allocation for a variety of reasons relating to the scale of the existing site and the scale of the 'settled' community of Ash.

Consultation Question - Rejected Site Options

Q17 Do you agree with the rejected site options? If not, why not?