EXCLUSIVE Singer Rag’n’Bone Man WINS first round in battle to stop ‘bullying’ developers from building 34 houses behind his £1million Sussex home
Rag’n’Bone Man has won the first round in his battle to stop an estate of 34 houses being built behind his £1million rural home after developers the singer accused of ‘bullying’ withdrew their application.
The bearded and tattooed hitmaker had complained that the new homes would overlook his property and have a ‘detrimental impact’ on his life.
He also claimed that the houses could lead to potential drainage problems and predicted that that the access road to the site would create an extra traffic hazard.
Councillors had been due to consider granting planning permission in the New Year for the development on the outskirts of the market town of Heathfield, East Sussex.
But planning documents reveal that the application was withdrawn on December 23, although it is unclear whether the developers will be submitting revised plans.
Rag’n’Bone Man has won the first round in his battle to stop an estate of 34 houses being built behind his £1million rural home after developers withdrew their application this month
Pictured: view of development site from the singer’s home which he shared with the council
The 36-year-old heavyweight singer had voiced his opposition to the plans in a letter to Wealden District Council, saying they ‘should be resisted at all costs’.
His letter written under his real name Rory Graham protested that the 4.1 acre site of the planned houses on a field bordered by woodland was ‘clearly an unsuitable location’.
He wrote: ‘The proposal site lies directly behind my property. The proposed dwellings will all be able to see directly into my garden and house.
‘All 34 properties would have some view into my property and/or garden. There has been no care or regard taken at all over the future enjoyment of my property and amenity space.
‘I think it is clear to say that this application does not have any overriding benefits that could ever outweigh the impact. This is clearly an unsuitable location.
‘The overarching infrastructure (including schools, doctors, dentists, utility services, public transport and road networks) for the area is already overstretched, full or failing.
The singer said the proximity of the site (pictured) to his home would have a ‘detrimental impact’ on his life and it is also near an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
‘How the council could ever see this as a sustainable location for the development is beyond thinking about. I urge the council and planning committee members to refuse this application.
‘If approved, it will have a detrimental impact on my property and my way of life.’
Rag’n’Bone Man shot to fame with his No.1 debut single Human in 2016 and has since amassed an estimated £5million fortune thanks to follow-up hits including Giant and his chart-topping album Life by Misadventure.
The singer-songwriter, who is originally from Uckfield, East Sussex, bought his modest home in nearby Heathfield four-years-ago for £835,000.
It is set in 2.8 acres of land including a spring and pony paddock and lies next to an ancient woodland in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Other famous residents who live nearby include rocker Roger Daltrey, skating legend Jayne Torvill and actress Cate Blanchett
Pictured: Whitehall Homes plans to build 34 homes – 12 of them affordable – on the site in Heathfield, East Sussex which is adjacent to Rag’n’Bone Man’s existing home in the village
Rag’n’Bone Man’s letter of objection to the new houses added: ‘Since purchasing the property in 2017, I have seen several species including red kite, dormouse, bats, owls, deer (in particular Albino deer).
‘The development constitutes major development within the AONB, it does not in any way conserve or enhance the AONB and as such should be resisted at all costs.
‘The proposed access will adjoin my own driveway, which is already a hazard enough with only two properties using it. To turn right from my driveway at present is difficult at peak times.
‘The proposed traffic light system that the developer is intending to have put in as part of the development is questionable to say the least. How’s it going to be funded?
‘Would it then see the affordable housing struck off due to the viability of the development with offsite costs so high.’
Plans for the new estate were submitted just five months after the singer scrapped his own plans to erect a two storey outbuilding with an indoor swimming pool complete with a hot tub, bar and first floor ‘entertainment space’ in the grounds of his home.
He withdrew his planning application after the local parish council blasted the proposed development as being too big and out of character with the area.
Rag’n’Bone Man also complained in a Facebook rant that the firm behind the bid for the 34 houses had used ‘bully tactics’ to try to buy his four-bedroom property.
But a spokesman for the developers Whitehall Homes denied his claims, saying: ‘Mr Graham was politely contacted by return following their request for a proposal.
‘After due consideration on their part no further contact was made to date. We fail to see the alleged “bullying tactics” at play here.’
The developers added in a design and access statement accompanying their planning application that they wanted to create a ‘high quality residential development’ and ‘a close community with a distinct sense of place and character’.
The statement insisted that the area had the ‘lowest designation of risk category for flooding’.