In recent years the setting of designated heritage assets located adjacent to development sites has increasingly featured in reasons for refusal of planning applications. Successful mitigation of adverse impacts on setting must be embedded in the development design and therefore requires recognition of heritage sensitivities right at the start of the design process. Headland works closely with landscape consultants and other members of project design teams along with external consultees to ensure that, wherever possible, adverse impacts are designed out of projects at an early stage.
Headland Archaeology has assisted Catesby Estates Ltd in all stages of its ultimately successful outline planning application for 210 dwellings on land at Penland Farm, on the northern edge of Haywards Heath in Mid Sussex.
The key cultural heritage issue, recognised from the start of the project, was the proximity of the application site to Borde Hill, a Registered Historic Park and Garden, with the South Lodge (a Grade II Listed Building) immediately adjacent to the site. Headland’s Consultancy Team worked closely with the project landscape consultants (LDA Design) to ensure that the masterplan for the site responded to these sensitive heritage assets and minimised any adverse effects on the setting of both the lodge house and the park as a whole. Drafts of the evolving masterplan were shared with Historic England and Mid Sussex Council and benefited from their advice.
Careful restriction of building heights and retention of existing woodland, along with appropriate new plantings at the edge of the park, ensure that key views from within the park will be unaffected. Up-grading of the busy road junction adjacent to the South Lodge (work required to accommodate the predicted increase in traffic flow) was used as an opportunity to enhance the setting of this Listed Building.
Headland’s General Works Department also carried out geophysical survey and trial trenching to investigate the archaeological potential of the application site, to further inform the application.
The resulting planning application was supported by Council officers with a recommendation for outline permission, but the planning committee disagreed and refused the application for various reasons including impacts on the Borde Hill heritage assets. Headland’s Dr Stephen Carter gave evidence at the resulting planning appeal, successfully rebutting the Council’s case that there would be substantial harm to the heritage significance of Borde Hill. The appeal was allowed.
Haywards Heath, Mid Sussex
Catesby Estates Ltd
Geophysics / Trial Trench Evaluation / Environmental Impact Assessment / Expert Witness