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Ask the Leader

The Leader of Wealden District Council is Councillor Bob Standley. He will be pleased to answer any question you may have about Wealden District Council's policies, or other matters involving the Council, which you think are of interest to people living, working or visiting Wealden.

To ask your question, please use our or Ask the Leader - Submit a Question Form

Councillor Standley is the Conservative Leader of the Cabinet of Wealden District Council and has represented Wadhurst since 2004.

Specific inquiries about particular services such as planning applications, licensing or accommodation can be reported online. Please use our 'directory of tasks on online services' to find the appropriate form. You can also email

We will try to respond within ten working days of receiving your question and your question and the Leader's reply will then be posted on the website. Please provide your name, we don't need your address. If we think the question is inappropriate for publication we will contact you by email to say why.

For information on any of the Ask The Leader questions listed please contact our Communications Officer on

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The latest Ask the Leader questions and answers are shown below. To view more questions and answers, use the search above, or the 'In this Section' menu.

Affordable housing for rent


Can you tell me, is the primary or even only way that WDC can add to Wealden's affordable rental housing stock through the process of allowing new private developments and ensuring Affordable Housing provision within them? Ralph Latter


‹‹Dear Mr Latter, Our current approved Core Strategy Local Plan, Policy WCS8 Affordable Housing, stipulates that for sites where five or more dwellings are being built, the developer will be required to include 35% affordable housing. Where it can be proved that this level of affordable housing cannot be achieved, the closest level to the target will be accepted and in exceptional cases, this may take the form of a sum of money or serviced land in lieu of the affordable homes. This policy resulted in 193 affordable homes being built in the District in 2014/15. However this is not the only way the Council has been seeking to increase the stock of affordable housing. In the past two years, using our own money and a grant from the Homes & Communities Agency, we have built 64 new council houses for rent in Willingdon, Crowborough and Forest Row. We are currently seeking planning permission to build a further 12 new council houses on land the Council owns at Leap Cross in Hailsham. We are seeking to build more council houses in other parts of District, subject to financial resources, when suitable sites become available. We are also looking for opportunities to purchase existing vacant property, where suitable, for reletting as a council homes. Building additional council homes is one of the aims outlined in the Council’s 2015-19 Corporate Plan, alongside encouraging more people to buy their first home and improving access to affordable housing for local people. Regards ‹‹ Bob Standley

Infrastructure provision in the Local Plan


Could you guarantee that infrastructure & services will grow in line with extra housing? Also that the quality of the new builds will be high with good insulation and soundproofing. I have a friend who lives in the new Buxted development and she said the build is very poor. Surely new builds should be of a quality and high standard? Keep some trees and planting and green areas. S Daniel


Dear S Daniel, You have raised some very good points and I know you are not the only one concerned about what the Local Plan could mean for the District. Making sure the infrastructure and services grown in line with extra housing is one of the key issues in this process. Chapter 26 of the Local Plan: Issues, Options and Recommendations document is devoted to Infrastructure. We acknowledge that the additional infrastructure required to support the growth proposed in this Plan will be considerable. We are proposing that one of the principles behind the new Plan will to make the freeing up of land for development conditional upon there being sufficient capacity in the existing local infrastructure to meet the requirements generated by the proposed development. By using a Revolving Infrastructure Fund, we hope to be able to ensure work can begin on the necessary infrastructure improvements before new housing is completed. We will be working with neighbouring authorities throughout the Local Plan process to get a more accurate assessment of what will be required. We are also proposing to draw up a Green Infrastructure Strategy to help maintain and improve the biodiversity and landscape character of the District. Chapter 20 in the Local Plan Issues, Objectives and Recommendations document covers Design. This seeks to encourage development of high quality in terms of design and local distinctiveness. However existing national building regulations do limit the scope of the Plan in setting construction standards to apply to all new developments. Where ever we are able to, we will seek to impose the highest quality standards possible. The Local Plan: Issues, Objectives and Recommendations can be found on our website here . I know it is lengthy, but I hope you will be able to take the time to read it and raise any further points at one of the consultation exhibitions we are holding around Wealden in the coming weeks. You can find details of dates and venues here. Regards Bob Standley

For information on any of the Ask The Leader questions listed please contact our Communications Officer on

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