Plan for the future of Wealden is rejected over housing

A blueprint for the future of Wealden’s housing, infrastructure, and environment has been rejected.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 10:42 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 10:45 am
Wealden development

Wealden District Council says it is “disappointed” the draft Wealden Local Plan was dismissed by a planning inspector due to not proposing enough new housing for the area.

Council leader Bob Standley said, “Unfortunately, the planning inspector has found we put too great an emphasis on protecting the environment and we need to do more to build houses in Wealden which our neighbouring councils cannot accommodate.

“Regrettably, this will inevitably have impacts on our communities. We acknowledge there is already significant pressure on infrastructure – such as roads, doctors, dentists, schools and sports facilities.

“A requirement to build more homes will only have a greater impact on those facilities, which will require further investment.”

Councillor Ann Newton, deputy leader of the council and in charge of planning and development, said she was “disappointed” in the decision.

She said, “We are disappointed at the time taken to reach this decision and the resulting uncertainty created since these issues were discussed in May last year.

“In recommending to withdraw our Local Plan and starting afresh, we will continue to do all we can to ensure that extra growth is accommodated in a way that is sensitive to the needs of existing residents.

“We will continue to strive for sustainable growth that provides infrastructure for our communities and is consistent with our commitment to become a carbon-neutral District.”

A full copy of the planning inspector’s findings of the draft Wealden Local Plan can be found on the Local Plan examination pages of the Wealden council website.

A new timetable for the Local Plan process will be discussed by the plan’s subcommittee.

A spokesperson for Wealden council said planning applications “will continue to be decided on their merits”, taking account of all material considerations.