Today Councillors approved the Local Plan setting-out future of development in the Wealden District in the period up to 2028.
However Crowborough Councillor Greg Rose, spoke-out at the meeting of Full Council to explain why he felt unable to support the Plan. Cllr Rose is concerned about the change to the development boundary to include land North of Walshes Road:
I have been opposing development on this parcel of land for the last three years and it would be hypocritical of me to now do a U-turn and agree with it, and as such I have a duty to the residents who elected me and that is why regretfully I cannot support the approval of the draft Local Plan today.
The development boundary for Crowborough has also been modified to include some land between Palesgate Lane and the Rugby Club (see the map on page 316). This land has been subject to a long planning battle which began in 2013, when Knight Developments submitted a planning application to build 103 houses. In response to a question as to why the boundary has now been changed when previously the Council has fought tooth and nail against development in the area, a Council spokesperson said “the more environmentally sensitive areas are not included”.
The Local Plan identifies sites for 4,012 new homes, predominantly around built-up areas in the south of the district, but there are some smaller allocations in Mayfield, Wadhurst and Heathfield. In addition to identified land, provision has been made for the delivery of 2,516 additional dwellings where sites have not been specifically identified in the Plan. This type of provision is called windfall development.
The windfall allocations have been broken-down by area. Crowborough is divided into three areas with the windfall allowance of 136 in Crowborough North (inc. Steel Cross), 103 in Crowborough East (inc. Walshes Road) and 121 in Crowborough West (inc. the Town Centre).
There will now be an eight-week public consultation period, to be held between 13th August and 8th October, before it is sent to the Secretary of State who will appoint an independent Planning Inspector to examine the plan.
Click here to download a copy of the draft Wealden Local Plan. The section dealing specifically with Crowborough runs from page 313 to 320.