The Local Plan
Wealden’s Local Plan has now been published and is likely to be adopted by the Council later in July.
We have to meet Government housing targets at the same time as protecting our local environment.
The Plan means 14,228 houses across the district between 2013 and 2028; of these, 7700 have already been built or have planning permission granted. On average this will mean about 950 houses built per year. Personally, I think this is unachievable because I’m not sure the construction industry has the capacity to deliver or that the market requires this many houses. We shall have to wait and see.
The focus of the growth will be in the south around Hailsham, Polegate, Willingdon and Stone Cross.
The Plan includes a wide range of environmental measures to protect Ashdown Forest, the Pevensey levels and the South Downs National Park.
Further scientific research had confirmed that vehicles travelling around the Forest threaten to worsen the degraded ecology of Ashdown Forest heathland. Air mitigation measures will be necessary for developments which increase traffic volume. In particular-
- Residential development will not be allowed within 400 metres of Ashdown Forest Special Protection Area unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- Development within 7km of the SPA will require a contribution to environmental measures such as the provision of suitable natural green spaces.
- Large development schemes beyond the 7km boundary may also be required to implement mitigation measures.
In response to the concern in many villages that no development is possible, a new concept of Core Areas has been introduced.
Whilst there will not be designated sites, windfall developments would be permitted. Even near the Forest, these sites have apparently been taken into account in the environmental calculations.
In our local area-
- Danehill – 21 homes will be permitted in the centre of the village around Oaktree Cottages.
- Buxted – 28 houses near the High St.
- Maresfield – 33 houses in the village centre.
- Isfield – 29 houses along Station Road.
- Chelwood Gate – 5 houses between Tanyard Lane and Stone Quarry Road.
July 9th 2018
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