A site, in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the edge of Balcombe built-up area, has been created out of the extended garden of Upper Stumble House for which we obtained planning consent in August 2017, on a site that was formerly the Wayside Nursery and a neighbouring plot on which the bungalow Robin Shaw sits. This provides 4 new houses for the loss of one.
A key influence on the development has been the appreciation of the qualities of the existing landscape in and around the development site. The proposals have endeavoured to protect worthwhile landscape and build on the typical characteristics found locally, to create a development with a strong sense of place, rooted in the particular context of urban and rural character of the AONB and to enhance biodiversity.
The site is divided into two character areas. The first, acting as an entrance to the site, extends the existing street pattern with two semi-detached houses based on the run of Edwardian semi-detached houses along Haywards Heath Road to the northwest of the site, and are based on a fairly traditional footprint/layout and form with contemporary detailing. The second, a hamlet of three houses behind, including Upper Stumble House currently under construction, which are more contemporary in style in an informal layout that makes most of the site in terms of orientation and the slope of the site to ensure the best passive approach to low energy use.
Running between Wayside House, an existing house and the proposed dwellings on the main road, an improved private access road links to the three houses further in the site and provides a link to a new public access way to the Upper Stumble Ancient Woodland. The private road to the hamlet is a shared surface that gives priority to pedestrians over cars. Design measures ensure that there is a natural open feel to the cluster of three houses. Low level landscape walls and hedge rows help define property boundaries. The private access road and turning head will have a domestic, non-suburban feel, using different types of paving materials to help blur the feel of a traditional cul-de-sac.