How to object to the Baldwins application

How to submit an objection (or other comment)

Rother District Council’s web site currently states that the closing date for objections is 25 January 2013.  However, their web site is still accepting comments and any comments that you make should be considered by the council.

  • Click here to open the planning page for this application on Rother’s web site, then click “Comment on this application” on the Rother page, and follow the instructions.  This is the most reliable way to submit an objection but only text (up to about 4000 characters long we believe) can be submitted this way
  • Email to with RR/2012/2343/P in the subject line
  • Write to Head of planning, Rother Town Hall, London Road, Bexhill-on-Sea,  TN39 3JX quoting reference RR/2012/2343/P

Possible objections to the Baldwins / Birchford application

As mentioned below, please do not copy the following paragraphs word for word when commenting to Rother.  Rather, feel free to use them as inspiration for your own objection.

The application site lies within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (HWAoNB).  The proposed new manor house and the proposed holiday cottages will be visible from public roads and footpaths over a wide area around the reservoir, ie from Brightling, from Mountfield and even from the A21.  The proposed manor house will be large and would be built in a prominent position.

For these reasons, the proposed development would be very damaging to the beauty and tranquility of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The area is loved by many local people as it is, and does not require “improvement”.

The application site is one of the dwindling number of landscapes within the High Weald that is truly dark at night.  The proposed developments would inevitably introduce light pollution, even if restrictions were to be imposed.

The application proposes to divert the existing footpath.  Lovely views from the existing footpath would be lost, and the sense of wildness and isolation that the path has at the moment would be destroyed.  The footpath diversion is much larger than necessary even if the proposed house were to be built.

Cars and car parking would be introduced to an area that until very recently was vehicle-free.

By spreading new human habitations over a wide area, there would be significant damage to wildlife, including a SSSI (site of special scientific interest), SNCI (site of Nature Conservation Interest) and Ancient Woodlands.

The design of the proposed new manor house is neither outstanding nor innovative. The design does very little to respect the local vernacular (Sussex) style, as it is very similar to other houses from the same architect in other parts of England and Wales.  The technologies to be used by the proposed house, such as sheepswool insulation, solar panels, and rainwater harvesting may have been innovative at some point in the past, but are not innovative any more.

The proposed house would not enhance its setting and is not sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.

A 6-bedroom house plus garaging for 5 cars for one family is not “sustainable” by any definition.

There is no need for the building of a new mansion in order to justify the repairs to Baldwins farm house (existing Grade 2 listed building).  A “conservation repair” of Baldwins Farmhouse is physically and economically feasible in its own right.

There has been no demonnstration of the need for a farm manager’s dwelling, because no proper business plan has been submitted.  In any case, the existing Baldwins Farm house would make a perfectly reaonsable farm manager’s house.

The proposal would cause significant damage to wildlife, ancient woodlands, sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) and sites of nature conservation interest (SNCIs).

The proposed building is on a greenfield site, outside any development boundary.

General guidelines for planning comments

Do write your own comment in your own words – try not to copy word for word from someone else’s comment. If you make similar points, put them in different words and put the points in a different order. Typing and other errors can devalue a comment so it may be worth typing your comment into a program with a spell-checker and then copying and pasting it into the comment box.

The area round Darwell reservoir is part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AoNB). A new development may impact on the AoNB in many ways but the main impact will probably be visual – harming the natural beauty of the area. This is usually the most important point to make, as the AoNB is still entitled to special protection under the planning laws and rules. The more people that say that the AoNB will be damaged, the greater weight the planners can give it in making a decision.

Do keep your objection short and to the point. Don’t ramble or rant. A short objection is more likely to get attention than a long one. Stick to fact that can be proved, don’t – however tempting it may be – put in guesses or opinions.

Points that arise from local knowledge are particularly useful. For example: the fact that a proposed development is on a steeply sloping site, or that someone is claiming to be farming chickens when they clearly are not; or if they claim that something will not be visible from a public footpath when in fact it will; or other significant factual errors in the documents. However….

…don’t attack the applicant personally. Don’t call him or her a liar and don’t attack their personal integrity. For the same reason it is better to refer to “the applicant” and “the application” and “the agent” rather than using their actual name – this all helps to make it seem not personal

It is not necessary for every objector to make every possible point. In fact it is probably best if they don’t as it looks less like a concerted campaign. We suggest that most people should mention the AoNB impact and thereafter say things that are important to you, and which you know from your own observation (rather than by hearsay from someone else) and/or which you feel strongly about.


1 Response to How to object to the Baldwins application

  1. Eden says:

    Dont Ruin darwell, im 13 years old and walk my dog there every day encluding today when i went toboggoning , i was devistated when i saw the poster up about the plans , i have put it all over fb hopeing that it will be saved :(:(:(:(:(:(:( so much wildlife will be killed and i know many people that have walked there for many years and will be sad to see it ruined, if its going to happen then dont do it somewhere so oftenly used and enjoyed so much and where people make a living there from walking dogs.

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