Wealden District Council

Core Strategy for Crowborough

This text is also available to download in pdf format, Core Strategy for Crowborough (pdf)

Wealdens Core Strategy Local Plan, approved in 2012, allows for a significant amount of new housing in Crowborough, with supporting office space and commercial premises within the town at appropriate locations. It will see some 450 new houses built in existing settlements across Wealden each year up until 2027, while protecting the Wealden countryside, two thirds of which is covered by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or National Park designation.

Crowborough is in the heart of the High Weald AONB, and suitable development locations are scarce. The Local Plan limits the number of new homes that can be built to 300 for the Plan period up until 2027, which is in line with current housing need. It also helps local efforts to support the retail and tourist vitality of the town. The towns five existing business parks contain sufficient space to allow for expected business growth.

Future Growth

Within Crowborough the Local Plan allows for some 140 new homes to be built in the town at Pine Grove and Jarvis Brook. It also allows for 160 new homes to be built in an urban extension to the south east of the town.

Where the new development will be

The Local Plan takes into account Crowborough Town Council's Top of the Weald vision which promotes the town as a location for tourism and business, served by an integrated transport system. It also acknowledges that Crowborough has a higher percentage of commuters compared to other Wealden towns. The Plan supports local efforts to retain the retail and tourist vitality of the town while protecting the natural environment that is its key attraction. Proposed sites to meet housing demand make use of the potential of brownfield sites in the town both at Pine Grove and Jarvis Brook, and a survey of suitable land carried out in 2010.

Opportunities to develop outside the Plans designated areas are likely to be severely limited due to the surrounding AONB and concerns about the effect that increased vehicle emissions will have on the vulnerable heathland habitat of the nearby Ashdown Forest. The Council is insisting that new development is supported by necessary infrastructure improvements and has already commissioned a refurbishment to the town's Freedom Leisure Centre.

The following is a map to illustrate the proposed areas for growth within Crowborough. To meet housing demand, brownfield sites at Pine Grove and Jarvis Brook have been identified, as well as suitable land in South East Crowborough, near the railway line.

Map showing Core Strategy Growth for Crowborough

Protecting the Ashdown Forest

Increasing development and nitrogen oxide emissions from motor vehicles are threatening the rare heathland ecosystem of the Ashdown Forest. This has led to a 7km protection zone around the Forest to meet the Council's duty to protect these internationally important sites. This will affect all developments which lead to increased traffic within the protection zone that are not already accounted for in the Wealden Local Plan. Wealden District Council is keen for business and tourist developments to go ahead in the area provided they do not breach Habitats regulations.

The Council is working with environmental consultants to provide guidance and assistance in dealing with proposals. This includes identifying alternative green spaces to relieve some of the recreational pressure on the Forest.