Wealden District Council

Core Strategy for Polegate and Willingdon

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

The Wealden Core Strategy Local Plan, approved by the Council, sets out to guide future growth in Polegate and Willingdon. Their proximity to the larger urban centre of Eastbourne has always affected the growth of these communities. Wealden's Core Strategy Local Plan seeks to redress some of the inequalities in housing and work opportunities within existing environmental limitations. Closeness to the South Downs National Park and strong rail and road transport links have made Polegate and Willingdon popular places to live. However, compared to the north of Wealden, both house prices and average incomes are lower. There is a shortage of family-sized houses, and a growing proportion of older residents. The Local Plan seeks to increase employment and housing opportunities in Polegate and Willingdon but has avoided earlier pressure from regional plans for unsustainable levels of growth. Developments will be expected to contribute necessary infrastructure improvements, particularly transport.

Growth Areas

The Wealden Local Plan, approved in 2012 following widespread consultation, will limit to 700 the number of houses that can be built between now and 2027. It also allows for the creation of nearly 1700 m2 of development to provide new employment opportunities at two locations to the south and east of Polegate.

Where the new development will be

Polegate is an important local centre, particularly for residents without cars. Further growth is necessary if the local economy is to remain successful but opportunities are limited. The South Downs National Park to the west and Eastbourne to the south, and the A27 and the Brighton to Eastbourne railway line to the north and east provide natural limits to expansion. The allocation of land for development including Hindsland, east of Willingdon, was only taken after transport and sustainability studies clearly indicated such development could be accommodated with necessary transport improvements. The site will include 700 new houses. There will also be 8,600 m2 of employment space providing new jobs for the community as well as leisure, recreational and community facilities. In Polegate and Willingdon, opportunities to provide land for the necessary growth are limited, and there are no suitable alternative brownfield sites.

Development will take place within the designated areas but the precise locations will be the subject of further work. Employment opportunities are also being encouraged through the creation of an additional 8,290 m2 of employment space south of the A27 on the Polegate side of Golden Jubilee Way. Growth in these two locations will be augmented by additional housing development in Stone Cross.

The Local Plan also seeks to improve Polegate town centre encouraging the choice of shops as well as the range and quality of other services. Wealden is continuing to liaise with Polegate Town Council, Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council and other partners and developers to ensure a coherent vision is achieved to meet local aspirations. The Plan also seeks greater integration of bus and rail services and supports the creation of an Eastbourne Hailsham Quality Bus Corridor.

The following is a map to illustrate the proposed areas for growth within Polegate and Willingdon. Opportunities to provide land for the necessary growth are limited. New land for development will be east of Willingdon, including Hindsland and employment space south of the A27 on the Polegate side of Golden Jubilee Way. The nearby community of Stone Cross also features on this map as it will also experience growth over the next 15 years.

Core Strategy for Polegate Willingdon and Stone Cross

Protecting the Pevensey Levels

With the South Downs National Park to the west and Pevensey Levels to the east, Polegate, Willingdon and Stone Cross lie between two very important environmental assets which are significant tourist attractions. The Local Plan seeks to make best use of the District's resources whilst affording a high degree of protection to our environment. It is a significant opportunity to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change. Crucial to this is ensuring inappropriate development does not take place in areas of high flood risk. As part of the detailed development process, new development in Stone Cross, Polegate and Willingdon will have to ensure it does not increase pollution levels within the Pevensey Levels. This limit on growth in the south of Wealden is caused by the ability of the waste water treatment works to safely discharge treated water in to the Pevensey Levels.