Councillors bid to block approval of planning blueprint

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POLEGATE and Willingdon councillors are trying to stop Wealden District Council’s Local Development Framework from being rubber stamped.

The framework is a blueprint for the use and development of land and includes housing, transport and amenities.

But councillors Stephen Shing, Raymond Shing, Stephen Isted, Oi Lin Shing and Daniel Shing have submitted a request to the Community and Environment Scrutiny Committee to call in the blueprint.

In the document requesting the call in, the councillors said, “Wealden District Council has not carefully considered the Local Development Framework planning process and the fairest way and most appropriate format for the general public to respond.

“In particular, the consultation exercise expected the public to submit comments via the online system.

“Many residents in Wealden do not have access to the internet and so were excluded from the consultation process. For those who do have internet access, the online system was difficult to follow and made online submission less likely than if comments could have been submitted in writing.”

The councillors also criticise the traffic study because it was published too late for the public to have time to consider the document in full and respond to it as part of the consultation.

The councillors added, “Wealden District Council is contradicting itself by making submissions in the Honey Farm planning inquiry that the local infrastructure was unsuitable for 520 houses.

“Now it is their position that up to 700 houses and 8,290 square metres employment floor space would be suitable in an even worse location. What makes the portfolio holder think that the very same reasons for refusing a major application now suitable for the Local Development Framework?”

They have also raised concerns about the proposals for the new health centre because they understand there is no available funding for its construction.