The first stage of hearings into whether Wealden’s Local Plan is sound and legally compliant, begins on Tuesday.
The Local Plan determines new housing, commercial development and the infrastructure required to support growth in the District.
The Independent Planning Inspector appointed by the Government, is Louise Nurser. She has written to the Council in advance of the hearing warning that she has identified “significant issues” in relation to the duty to co-operate particularly in terms of housing and environmental considerations.
Linked to this differing opinion on matters of air quality between the Council and that taken by Natural England, the Government’s adviser for the natural environment.
The legislation requires the Council to have engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis with other local authorities and prescribed bodies in the preparation of the Local Plan.
Housing developers, neighbouring local authorities and environmental organisation are among the groups being represented at the hearings being held at the East Sussex National and Hailsham Community Hall.
In addition, in this stage the Inspector needs to consider other substantive matters, such as the Council’s approach to development within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
If the Inspector finds the Local Plan capable of being sound and legally compliant she will proceed to Stage 2 of the examination addressing issues relating to development management policies and specific housing and employment allocations.
You can find further details and the schedule on the Local Plan page of Wealden’s website.