Wealden District Council have published the next version of their Local Plan.
Once approved, most likely in 2018, the planning blueprint will be used to determine growth in the district up to 2028.
Using scientific evidence, the Council are gathering data regarding the damage from car exhaust fumes to the rare heathland habitat on Ashdown Forest, they are recommending a lower housing requirement than in the current Core Strategy.
Councillor Ann Newton, Cabinet member for Planning and Development at Wealden District Council said:
This stage of the Local Plan process reflects the feedback from the Issues, Options and Recommendations document as well as results from a variety of scientific studies Wealden District Council has commissioned.
Whilst encouraging growth for the housing need, the Plan has to take account of the sensitive environmental issues across the District, particularly Ashdown Forest. This new model allows for a better balance of employment and housing growth whilst protecting Ashdown Forest and the wider Wealden countryside.
The delivery of infrastructure to accompany any housing remains at the core of the Local Plan strategy and the Council meets regularly with infrastructure providers.
Wealden District Councillors will have an opportunity to discuss the proposals at a joint meeting of the North and South Planning Committee on Monday 13th March. It will then be submitted for approval at the meeting of Wealden’s Full Council on 22nd March.
If it is approved at Full Council public consultation will run from 8th May to 19th June. At a later date, the Government’s Planning Inspectorate will then determine whether the Local Plan is “sound” – that, among other things, it meets objectively assessing housing and business needs; it is justified by evidence and meets national planning policy.
Click to download a copy of the Draft Proposed Submission. Please note the document is 528 pages long.
The section specifically about Crowborough runs for 10-pages from page 329 onwards. New new housing sites have been allocated to Crowborough in the Plan. The Development boundary has been drawn more closely around Crowborough to restrict further “windfall” development. Crucially the boundary does not include the agricultural land the other side of Walshes Road, that developers have recently been eyeing-up (see here). The Warren is also excluded to stop more infill development between existing houses. The Plan states that additional car parking may be required and larger library facilities. Planners also think more space is required for comparison shopping even though the units underneath Morrisons are still vacant. Comparison shopping is the term used for items not bought on a frequent basis, for example televisions, fridges and washing machines.
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