Wealden District Council

Wealden welcomes Local Plan progress

Media Release : 24 March 2017

On 22 March Wealden’s Full Council voted overwhelmingly in support of the progress made and the strategic direction of the next stage of the Wealden Local Plan.

proposed submission cover

In introducing the Wealden Local Plan – Draft Proposed Submission Document, Councillor Ann Newton, Cabinet member for Planning and Development, said: "The plan before you comprises some 500 plus pages. It provides policy on strategic direction, area policies and local policies right down to proposals for our local market towns and villages. But, most importantly, it is a document about our communities and how we want to see them continue to prosper. As such, I believe it is the single most important document that this Council has had to consider so far in its current term." 


Council also recommended that the Draft Proposed Submission Local Plan is brought back to Full Council for final consideration at the earliest opportunity. If approved, the document will go out for formal representations directly after. These representations will be taken into account to create a final submission document which will go forward to an independent Planning Inspector for Examination in Public later this year.


Councillors welcomed the time that they and their communities have to study the lengthy document in more detail.


The number of new homes included in the Draft Proposed Submission Wealden Local Plan is 11,456. As 7,392 of these have already been built or granted planning permission since 2013, the total number of new homes to be built by the end of the 2028 will be 4,064. The Draft Submission also includes 38,600 square metres of employment opportunities. These figures take into account the results of the latest nitrogen deposition monitoring that has been taking place on Ashdown Forest regarding nitrogen deposition from vehicles and other sources. These showed that the amount of nitrogen deposition is already exceeding levels that can cause ecological damage to the heathland.


Monitoring of the air pollution around Ashdown Forest will continue and there may be further adjustments if evidence suggests they are required.


Under the Draft Proposed Submission document endorsed by the Local Plan Sub-Committee, the additional new lower housing numbers would be distributed across Wealden as follows:

  • Hailsham - 2,420
  • Polegate & Willingdon - 108
  • Stone Cross - 833
  • Berwick Station - 32
  • Ninfield - 85
  • Horam - 344
  • Heathfield - 191
  • Wadhurst - 51