MOD 4.1

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Main Modifications to the Proposed Submission Core Strategy

Representation ID: 21513

Received: 23/09/2013

Respondent: Bovis Homes Ltd

Agent: Bidwells

Representation Summary:

Bovis Homes Ltd also supports the modifications confirming the funding of the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road (Mod 4.1).

Full text:

Bovis Homes Ltd have established a stake in the Trinity College owned land at North East Bexhill (Glovers/Worsham Farms) proposed in the Adopted Local Plan for strategic growth (Adopted Local Plan Allocation BX2).

Bovis Homes Ltd have carefully considered the Council's proposed modifications issued in the Schedule of Main Modifications document (August 2013) and the implications the proposed modifications have for the future development of the urban extension at North East Bexhill (Local Plan Allocation - BX2).

Bovis Homes Ltd can support the proposed modifications and consider them to be sound. In particular, Bovis Homes Ltd are in support of the modifications confirming the Council's positive approach to reflect the presumption in favour of sustainable development and its intention to deal promptly and approve development schemes that accord with the Local Plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise (Mod 2.1).

Bovis Homes Ltd also supports the modifications confirming the funding of the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road (Mod 4.1); and understands the Council's clarifications regarding the revocation of the South East Plan and its housing targets (Mod 2.2).

Bovis Homes Ltd accepts the Council's conclusion that the housing levels should be set at a level which is considered sustainable, in terms of balancing jobs and growth and taking into account transport infrastructure and impacts on the environment etc. (Mod 7.4). Bovis Homes Ltd therefore supports the modifications increasing the amount of housing to be delivered in the District over the plan period from 3,700-4,100 to at least 5,700 dwellings between 2011 and 2028 (Mod 7.5); and the Council intention to positively support an increase in house building rates (Mod 7.6). Bovis Homes Ltd strongly supports the Council's confirmation that the revised housing figures should be considered minimum targets to achieve, rather than rigid development ceilings (Mod 7.12).

Bovis Homes Ltd particularly supports the Core Strategy's continued emphasis on focusing growth on the town of Bexhill and in particular the urban extension at North East Bexhill; and the revised housing figures for Bexhill: 3,100 dwellings (Mod 7.14).

For the record, Bovis Homes Ltd can confirm that an agreement has now been reached with Trinity College, owners of Glovers/Worsham Farms to prepare and submit a planning application for at least 1,200 homes on the BX2 site, as soon as reasonably practical. The current intention is to submit a hybrid planning application early in the second half of 2014 with the first phase of development to be considered 'in detail' in order to accelerate the delivery of homes once consent has been issued. The scheme's anticipated determination date is early 2015, and the scheme's commencement date is expected to be later in that year. The timetable is related to the construction and delivery of the Hastings to Bexhill Link Road and the recently permitted 'Gateway Road/junction', which will provide the main means of access for the residential site, and the adjacent commercial site to be delivered by Sea Change Sussex (previously SeaSpace). The development trajectory for the residential site is approximately 125 dwellings per year, subject to market conditions.

Bovis Homes Ltd are meeting with the Council's Planning Team to agree a programme to bring forward the planning application's preparation and determination in an efficient and timely manner.