Councillors fail to halt development framework

A GROUP of councillors have failed in their attempt to stop Wealden’s Local Development Framework moving forward.

The framework is a blueprint for the use and development of land in the district until 2010 and includes housing, transport and amenities. But councillors from Willingdon and Polegate – Stephen Shing, Raymond Shing, Stephen Isted, Oi Lin Shing and Daniel Shing – requested the Community and Environment Scrutiny Committee call in the blueprint because they said Wealden District Council had not considered the fairest and most appropriate way for the public to respond.

However, the committee met on Monday to hear the councillors’ concerns but they voted 12 to two in favour of a motion that concerns raised had been addressed and the Local Development Framework should continue to the next phase.

The next phase of Wealden’s Local Development Framework is expected to begin in October. There will be an examination in public, when an independent inspector will review representations made by members of the public and organisations on the council’s proposed Core Strategy.

Through the Core Strategy, the housing targets set by the previous government have been reduced to provide for an average of 400 homes a year until 2030 - a level which the council believes balances the need for growth with the local capacity to accommodate that growth.

Councillor Roy Galley, Wealden’s cabinet member for planning and development, said, “I am pleased that so many have taken the opportunity to become involved. Wealden’s Core Strategy has been a triumph for localism, and the interest that has been shown, reflects how important local views are in the planning debate.”

Cllr Stephen Shing said, “It seems that Wealden is using its own fist to punch its own face; no doubt we will continue to fight on this at the inspectorate examination.”