Wealden District Council, and all other local planning authorities, are required to carry-out an assessment of land within their district or borough suitable for future development.
The process is called the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA), and it is a requirement of national planning policy.
The SHELAA will form an integral part of the evidence that underpins the new Wealden Local Plan. The Local Plan sets out where new homes and employment units will be built over the next 15-20 years, what new community facilities and infrastructure will be needed – including schools and doctors’ surgeries. It also identifies what areas should be protected.
The District Council have said they hope to publish the draft Local Plan for consultation this Spring, before it is submitted to the Secretary of State Michael Gove MP in 2023. He will then appoint a Planning Inspector to carry out an independent examination to ensure it meets all the relevant legislative requirements.
As part of this SHELAA process Wealden District Council undertook a ‘Call for Sites’ in 2020. This is where landowners are able to submit their land for a formal assessment as to the sites suitability and deliverability for housing or employment use. The Council has now mapped the sites onto their online mapping system.
It is important to note the inclusion of the site in the SHELAA does not imply that the Council would necessarily grant planning permission, if and when a planning application is submitted.
To use the mapping system, click on the following link:
In order to see the sites, go to ‘Map Features’ in the Menu towards the top left hand corner of the screen, then click ‘Planning Policy’ to turn on the two layers underneath.
Planning applications have already been submitted for some of the land on the map, notable North of Eridge Road next to Goldsmiths and the sites either side of Walshes Road. Others are expected to be formally submitted soon, such as Court Farm in Rotherfield.
Others were submitted previously and were included in the last SHELAA Report, which was published in January 2019. (Please note the report is 470 pages long – but can be searched by pressing the Ctrl and F keys together). These were assessed for their suitability for housing or employment at that time, and the reasons given for the decision reached.
You will see there are large areas of land around Crowborough on the map, including Laurel Tree Farm at Boar’s Head, land down London Road, St John’s, High Brooms Road and Palesgate Lane. Some of which were deemed to be unsuitable last time.
The next iteration of its SHELAA report will be published alongside the Local Plan this Spring.
The Council is currently in the process of reviewing all sites submitted prior to the 15th November 2021, in accordance with its SHELAA methodology. The map shows all sites submitted for assessment and does not mean the Council consider them suitable for development.
Crowborough Life will keep you informed regarding the progress of the Local Plan, and we will of course tell you when you can submit your comments as part of the formal consultation of the draft Plan.
In the meantime – join the conversation on our Facebook page or add your comments below.