HAILSHAM: Developers are facing tougher guidelines

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HOUSING developers will have to deliver a higher percentage of affordable homes in new housing schemes under tougher guidelines due to be brought in by Wealden District Council.

Wealden’s Core Strategy, a major policy setting out a vision for sustainable future housing growth, was approved by Full Council last Wednesday December 8.

It sets the cap on housing growth across the district at 400 units per year until 2030, in keeping with growth for the past 21 years.

Under the plan, which needs to be approved by an independent planning inspector, Hailsham and Hellingly will see 1,300 new homes built over the next 20 years, bringing the total number of homes to 2945 by the year 2030.

“By 2030 Wealden will have successfully accommodated growth to meet future need while protecting and enhancing the essential rural character and high quality of our countryside as a resource for recreation and tourism,” said Councillor Roy Galley, Cabinet member for Planning and Development at Wealden District Council.

The document also seeks to raise the percentage of affordable housing to be delivered in new schemes from 30 per cent in schemes of 10 houses to 35 per cent on new developments of five or more homes.

Development boundaries will be removed from 25 smaller settlements including The Dickers and Lower Horsebridge, to limit growth in the countryside.

Members of the public and organisations will be able to make their own representations to Government and to an independent planning inspector from the end of February.

A public examination of the strategy, by the inspector will then be held for several weeks during the summer before the council can adopt the Core Strategy as a legal planning document.

“It is a vision and our aspiration for our future. It will need a lot of hard work, including working closely with other partners and agencies, to make sure the necessary infrastructure is put in place.

“Through this Core Strategy we make sure that planning and development control is not handed over to property developers but remains in the hands of our communities and their elected representatives,” added Cllr Galley.