Opposition grows over increased plan for homes at Easebourne

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Fresh objections have been made in a row over a ‘minor’ plan amendment that could add 12 houses to land near Easebourne.

The King Edward VII Hospital was earmarked for six four-bedroom units – but could be set instead for a development of 18 three-bedrooms cottages.

Commenting on the application, the South Downs Society, which has some 1,500 members, added its weight to objections to the plan, complaining of ‘piecemeal’ development of the site.

It echoed concerns from the Campaign to Protect Rural England and residents, who have written more than 40 objections to the proposal, that the application could ever be deemed a ‘minor’ change given its scale.

The society noted ‘the site minibus transport service promised under the original 2011 planning permission is still not in operation’ and argued no further permissions should be allowed until that was provided as a sustainable transport option.

In addition, the South Downs Society has asked for a ‘much improved architectual design’ in light of the site’s Grade II listed status and ‘beautiful forest setting’ and the inclusion of electric vehicle charging points.

It wrote: “We understand the SDNPA (South Downs National Park Authority) only acceded to housing development in the grounds of the King Edwards VII Sanitorium site to financially support the preservation and restoration of the main hospital building, chapel and engine house.

“The sanitorium has now been restored to its former glory, which is wonderful.

“Unfortunately, that principle, agreed at the outset in 2011, is now being eroded by the developer selling off parcels of land.”

For more details, see the South Downs National Park Authority planning portal under reference number SDNP_19_02395_CND.