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21/0553/FH - Land Opposite 24, Station Road, Hythe

Planning Permission - screenshot of Planning Permission page from gov.uk siteA number of Hythe residents asked me to review and comment on planning application 21/0553/FH (Land Opposite 24, Station Road, Hythe). I have done so today, and my comments were as follows:

"I'm commenting in objection to application 21/0553/FH (Land Opposite 24, Station Road, Hythe).

"Although the land has been included in the Local Plan for development, this application exceeds the number of properties specified for the site in the Local Plan. Although they attempt a justification based on plot size, given the recent passing of the plan, to now exceed the numbers in that plan seems excessive and arbitary. If the authors of the Local Plan thought it was a reasonable site for 44 dwellings they should, and presumably would, have said so.

"The cumulative effect of the development with the neighbouring development will lead to a material impact on the nature of the area. This is not the only development with or seeking planning permission locally, and taken together there will be a significant impact on the wider area.

"The junction to Station Road has been said to be safe based on the traffic speed survey, but that was conducted during a school holiday during a Covid affected period. That will have had a larger than usual impact on the traffic flows and speeds, and taken alongside the reports of considerable numbers of RTAs in the vicinity seems to make it clear that more attention needs to be given to traffic calming and visibility splays at the entrance to the development.

"The topography of the site will lead to an excessive level of overlooking and loss of privacy from plots 9-20 to the houses to the East of the site on Blackhouse Hill. The proposed screening of trees will be ineffective: the gardens and houses to the East are significantly elevated above the development site as can be seen in many photos from those houses, and there will be clear views between the properties, causing issues of overlooking and loss of privacy.

"Finally, but not least, the developer attempts to justify on cost grounds that there should be no affordable housing on the site as it is expensive to develop. This should not be accepted. This would be a perfectly good location to include affordable housing, being (as they make clear) in easy reach of Hythe town centre. The requirement for 30% affordable housing is not an aspiration: it is a commitment. This site seems no harder to develop than most, and if no affordable housing is accepted here, that will be a terrible precedent for developments across the district."