Wealden District Council

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 info@wealden.gov.uk.

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 pr@wealden.gov.uk.

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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.

Utilising brown field sites for development


Question :- Have you seen the CPRE report showing that there are more than enough brownfield sites in Wealden to meet housing demands? WHY are Wealden councillors ignoring the very people they are supposed to represent and gleefully making plans to build across green fields, farm land and woods? And offering to take on building requirements for other councils such as Eastbourne? Please explain.

Elizabeth Hankins



Dear Ms Hankins


The Council has always favoured brownfield sites over greenfield sites. However within Wealden there are not enough brownfield sites to provide the housing we are required to consider through the Objectively Assessed Housing Need calculation and therefore we disagree with the CPRE’s statement. Should the CPRE have a list of brownfield sites it wishes the Council to consider I would be pleased  if they would forward that to me.


Our policy of preferring brownfield sites is shown by the fact that between 2010/11 and 2013/14 an average of 47% of housing completions took place on previously developed - brownfield – land. Unfortunately the availability of brownfield sites for the future is now very much limited but we will continue to try to use them where we can.


You mention taking on the building requirements of other councils.

Under planning legislation, we have a duty to cooperate. This means that we are required to actively engage with other authorities and certain public sector bodies on meeting the strategic housing needs for the housing market area. If we failed to do so, our proposed  Local Plan would not meet the necessary legal test when it came to its public examination by an independent planning inspector. This would mean going back to drawing board and doing it all again in line with the legislation. We do challenge our neighbouring authorities and other statutory bodies  to provide the  evidence they have for the reasons they cannot deliver the required housing in their areas.


More information about these matters can be found our Wealden Local Plan: Issues, Options and recommendations document which can be found on the Planning Policy pages of our website http://www.wealden.gov.uk/Wealden/Residents/Planning_and_Building_Control/Planning_Policy/Delivery_and_Site_Allocations_Local_Plan/PPolicy_WLP_IsseusOptionsRecommendations.aspx



Bob Standley

The deselection process for councillors


If, as a parishioner, I felt that my District Councillor had reneged on promises made in the electoral campaign of 2015 that have already had a very potentially negative and long-term impact on the Parish, its unique history (as identified by WDC), and the concerns of many other Parishioners, what is the process to engage deselection?

Paul Leader


Dear Paul Leader


Thank you for your email. If you feel a councillor has reneged on the promises made in 2015 then I would suggest you approach the councillor directly. Circumstances sometimes change which can lead to a different emphasis on policies but I am sure the councillor will engage in discussion.


Where a candidate is standing as a member of a political party then the selection process is within the control of that party and not influenced in any way by the Council.


Bob Standley

Leader of the Council

For information on any of the Ask The Leader questions listed please contact our Communications Officer on pr@wealden.gov.uk.