18.1 Ashurst Wood is located in the north eastern corner of the
District, approximately 1.5 miles southeast of East Grinstead and
a similar distance northwest of Forest Row. The village has a particularly
attractive setting, being located on a ridge which provides extensive
views to the north, south and east across undulating countryside.
The whole of the village and the surrounding countryside lie within
the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area between
Ashurst Wood and East Grinstead is also identified as a strategic
gap in the Structure Plan, the boundary of which is defined on the
Proposals Map accompanying this Local Plan.
18.2 Much of the village dates from the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. Some large houses on the edge of the village have been
converted to other uses such as flats, private schools or institutional
uses. The built-up area remains relatively compact although there
is some lower density development around Cansiron Lane to the east
and alongside the A22 Lewes Road which passes the edge of the village
to the southwest.
18.3 Ashurst Wood is served by a range of local facilities including
shops and pubs in Maypole Road and Hammerwood Road; a primary school;
a church, parish room and a community centre; recreation grounds
and provision for football and tennis and equipped children’s
Policies and Proposals
Built-up Area Boundary
18.4 A built-up area boundary is defined for Ashurst Wood. This
seeks to preserve the rural setting of the village and to protect
the surrounding countryside, which lies within the Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty and, on the west side, the Strategic Gap. The boundary
of the built-up area excludes the areas to the south west of the
A22 Lewes Road, the eastern end of Hammerwood Road and Cansiron Lane,
and the northern part of Maypole Road.
18.5 The area between Ashurst Wood and East Grinstead is defined
as a Strategic Gap. The boundary runs along the northern edge of
the built-up area of the village.
Areas of Townscape Character
18.6 The Council has identified two Areas of Townscape Character
in Ashurst Wood in accordance with policy B16 of the Built Environment
Chapter in this Local Plan. The first is centred on the northern
part of Maypole Road and extends from the crossroads at the heart
of the village northwards to the District boundary. The second is
a small area centred on the junction of Hammerwood, Maypole and Wall
Hill Roads on the southern edge of the village.
18.7 The Council will pay particular attention to any proposals
for development or redevelopment in these areas, having regard to
their special townscape character. It will seek to ensure that this
character is protected and where possible enhanced by any new development
proposals. These areas are identified on the Proposals Map.
AW1 Areas of Townscape
Character have been designated at:
Ivy Dene Lane
18.8 The former Ivy Dene Laundry site is located at the end of Ivy
Dene Lane to the north of the village and outside the built-up area
boundary. The buildings have been converted to small business units
and have been used for a variety of light and general industrial
and commercial purposes. The current level of activity is low, a
number of the units are vacant and the site and some of the buildings
are in poor condition.
18.9 The Council considers that this site should continue to be
used for business purposes. Although not fully used at present, the
existing units could be reoccupied without requiring planning permission
and the level of activity would increase accordingly. However, while
the uses at this site make a contribution to the local economy this
must be balanced against the constraints affecting the site when
considering its future development potential. It lies outside the
built up area of the village and within the Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty and Strategic Gap. Vehicle access is via a narrow track which
itself leads from Ivy Dene Lane, a residential area. Therefore while
the Council may consider favourably proposals for new commercial
development such proposals must have particular regard to these factors,
and the amenity of neighbouring residents must be safeguarded. Therefore,
while it is acknowledged that development may benefit visual amenity
by improving the appearance and character of the site, the Council
will only favourably consider proposals where there will be no increase
in floorspace on the site, and where it is satisfied that there will
be no detrimental impact on the amenities of the surrounding area
in general and on neighbouring residents in particular. In order
to maintain the site’s particular contribution to the economy,
as well as discouraging the use of larger commercial vehicles, the
Council will require any new development to be in the form of small
units. It will also require the site to be suitably landscaped.
AW2 Land north of
Ivy Dene Lane is allocated for business (B1) and general industrial
(B2) purposes. Proposals for redevelopment of the site will be
permitted only if they comply with the following requirements:
(a) there is no increase in the existing gross floorspace
on the site;
(b) development takes the form of low rise small business
units ranging from 50-300sq m gross floorspace
(c) the proposals include a comprehensive scheme for the
physical enhancement of the site, including
(d) the amenities of neighbouring residential properties
18.10 The recreation ground in the centre of Ashurst Wood currently
accommodates senior and junior football. The Mid Sussex District
Council Playing Pitch Strategy has identified a need for additional
playing pitches in the area. The Council will continue to investigate
ways of meeting this local need.
18.11 There is also a need to identify a suitable site within the
village for the provision of allotments to replace those previously
lost to development elsewhere. So far it has not been possible to
identify such a site but the Council will continue to investigate
suitable options for their provision.
18.12 The Council considers that the junction of Hammerwood Road
(the main route into and out of Ashurst Wood from the west) and Lewes
Road (the A22) is inadequate and potentially hazardous.
It will press the Highway Authority to examine the feasibility of improving
this junction, together with the junction of Park Lane and Lewes Road,
with a view to enhancing road safety and easing traffic movement into
and out of the village.