Wealden District Council has submitted the Local Plan for independent examination. The Planning Inspectorate are appointed by the Secretary of State to examine the Local Plan in public, which is likely to take place later this year.
Also submitted are all the responses received from 372 members of the public and organisations giving their views about the soundness of the plan and on the process followed, as well as responses received from the previous consultation that took place in 2015. These will be looked at by the independent planning inspector when appointed.
Councillor Ann Newton, Wealden Cabinet member responsible for Planning and Development, said:
I would like to thank everyone who took part in the process by making representations. All Local Plan documents can be viewed online. The submission documents and supporting evidence base can be view in the Wealden Local Plan Submission Library. The representations submitted during the consultation, which ran from 13th August until 8th October last year, can be viewed on the consultation portal on the planning section of the Wealden website.
You can search the Consultation Portal by keyword – 139 responses include the word “Crowborough”.
In their submission Crowborough Town Council question whether the plan is legally compliant, they state:
Wealden District’s Full Council approved the June 2018 version of the Draft Local Plan at their July 2018 meeting and yet the August 2018 version of the Draft Local Plan has gone to public consultation. We question if this is legal.
Wealden District Council as LPA [Local Planning Authority] are already determining planning applications based on the new proposed development boundary for Crowborough even before the Local Plan has been offered for representation, inspected, approved and adopted. We question if this is legal.
You can view all the document submitted for examination online in the Local Plan Submission Library.
One of the documents is the Infrastructure Delivery Plan. This key document lists all infrastructure needed to support sustainable growth in the district over the planning period to 2028. In relation to Crowborough:
- Of critical importance are the improvements to Western Road as part of the Walshes Road development
- No shortfall in primary school places are expected
- East Sussex County Council will work with Beacon Academy to ensure there are adequate places available to meet future demand
- Sussex Police have indicated that the additional population generated will place a significant demand upon policing for the area. Crowborough Police Station will be re-provided (“replaced”) and three additional officers would be provided in the station
- The Ambulance Service are predicting an increase of the Community Responder Scheme in the area costing circa £7k
- Crowborough is one of the areas identified at the highest flood risk in East Sussex
- Crowborough Town Council is currently creating a new burial ground at Summersales
Printed copies of the Local Plan, Sustainability Appraisal, Habitats Regulations Assessment, Proposal Maps and Consultation Statements will be available at locations across the District from 25th January 2019.
Following advice from Natural England, the Council has updated various aspects of the Plan’s Habitat Regulation Assessment. This includes information on the air quality impacts on the Pevensey Levels Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Ramsar Site.
So far as the Pevensey Levels SAC and Ramsar Site are concerned, the submission version of the Habitat Regulations Assessment concludes that there are no adverse effects from air quality impacts of the Wealden Local Plan alone and in combination with other plans and projects (without the need for mitigation). This marks a change from the proposed submission version of the Habitat Regulations Assessment, which concluded that mitigation was required.
As a result certain modifications to the Plan have been submitted for consideration by the Inspector.
The conclusion regarding Ashdown Forest SAC and Lewes Downs SAC has not changed as a result of the further consideration of the advice.
The Council has also updated the mitigation tariff associated with Ashdown Forest SAC and Lewes Downs SAC to incorporate employment development in line with policies contained within the Wealden Local Plan. This has resulted in a reduction of the tariff per dwelling from £3,100 to £2,697. Approved new homes which are not replacing any previous dwellings in the District are expected to pay the tariff. This is to help implement measures to avoid and mitigate the effect increased vehicle emissions will have on the Ashdown Forest and Lewes Downs Special Areas of Conservation.