Wealden District Council

Core Strategy for Hailsham and Hellingly

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

The Wealden Core Strategy Local Plan, approved by the Council, sets out to guide future growth in Hailsham and Hellingly. Hailsham is a traditional market town serving the south of the District. It has seen continued growth since the 1970s, but faces competition from Eastbourne and the other, larger centres on the South Coast. The Wealden Core Strategy Local Plan seeks to work with the aspirations of local communities to ensure the necessary growth to safeguard their economic vitality for the future. This cannot take place without the necessary infrastructure and particularly road improvements to ease traffic congestion in the centre of town and at key junctions along the main A22 and A271 roads. The Local Plan, which will guide development until 2027 and protect the District's many important landscape features, will encourage new places of work and education and support a comprehensive redevelopment of Hailsham. The lack of future capacity for waste water treatment will put a brake in the speed at which new development can progress.

Growth Areas

Approved in 2012 following widespread consultation, the Wealden Local Plan will allow for 1300 new homes to be built at Hailsham and Hellingly up until 2027. It will also add 8,650 m² of employment space, 6,230 m² of new retail space, and support the continuation of a local agricultural market.

Where the new development will be

Hailsham is situated at a crossroads in the Low Weald, with the A22 linking the south and west, the A267 to the north and the A271 connecting to the east. These links have helped maintain a range of jobs in manufacturing and services. The District Council located all its office-based services to Hailsham in 2012. The town has seen a significant increase in housing in recent years. Some 1645 new homes have been built or are currently under construction since 2006. The new Local Plan will limit any future growth until 2027 to a further 1300 new homes. Wherever possible the Council has sought to maximise the use of brownfield sites for local development. Development will take place within the designated areas but the precise locations will be the subject to further work. The planned building of 700 new homes in north Hailsham and Hellingly will require local road improvements. It will include 8,650 m² of new employment space, provision for a new school and 300 m² of retail space. Landscaping will ensure that green spaces are retained between urban Hailsham and Hellingly and also between Hellingly and the development at Hellingly Hospital.

The growth proposed to the north of Vicarage Lane includes 600 new homes. As well as providing new workspace, the Local Plan aims to increase the range of jobs on offer in the town and help develop new work skills. The promotion and development of Eastbourne/ Hailsham Quality Bus corridor, and improved pedestrian and cycle routes will offer a range of transport alternatives.

Town Centre Improvements

Hailsham's retail potential has not been lost on the major supermarket chains, with both Tesco and Asda recently coming to Hailsham. Despite its growing population, the town centre still suffers from a number of vacant retail units. The Local Plan will continue the work by Hailsham Town Council and Hellingly Town Council through its Town Master Plan, and the Hailsham Town Team, to ensure the town reaches its full potential as a centre for shops and services. An additional 5930 m² of retail space has been allocated for the town. Together with improved public transport and stronger links between the town centre and other parts of Hailsham, this will help improve commerce and attract both residents and visitors. The local councils are working together on implementing future plans to realise these improvements.

The following is a map to illustrate the proposed areas for growth within Hailsham and Hellingly. The planned building will be situated in the North and the East. East of the Cuckoo Trail, retaining green space between Hailsham and Hellingly. Green space will also be retained between Hailsham and the development at Hellingly Hospital.

Core Strategy Map for Hailsham and Hellingly