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.


Skate park facilities

1 July 2020

Question: My name is Tom Sharp and I’m a 24 year old man from Hailsham, I am writing to you today to ask about the possibility of getting another skate park facility built in Hailsham. I know what you’re probably thinking “Hailsham already has a skate park” and yes it does, but the skate park we...

Answer: Dear Mr Sharp. Thank you for your enquiry about the skate park provision in Roebuck Park. There were no proposals to include a skate park as part of the amenities for the development when it was granted planning permission. Part of the development includes land now owned by Hellingly Parish Council which has been designated...

Housing development near flood plains

9 March 2020

Question: Does Wealden District Council have any responsibility for considering the welfare of future residents, particularly with regard to housing development on areas known to be prone to flooding?

Answer: Dear Ralph Latter, We do. Careful consideration is given to the location of new developments in our Local Plan process and decisions on individual planning applications. As well as proximity to local services, this takes into account the likelihood of the land flooding. We take our advice from the Environment Agency and the County Council...

Legal advice on Local Plan

9 March 2020

Question: Has the Cabinet taken account of: 1. the case law that has made it clear that the duty to co-operate is not a duty to agree; 2. the advice in AECOM’s report to the Council dated December 2019, summarised in Figures 19 & 20, that the projected switch to electric vehicles by 2028 will have...

Answer: Dear Ian Tysh, We received detailed legal advice regarding the options available to the Council following the Planning Inspector’s report on the Wealden Local Plan. This was given great consideration by our Cabinet. We have taken the decision to withdraw our current plan and prepare a new one. The matter was debated at the 19...

Luxford Road, Crowborough

27 February 2020

Question: Dear Mr Standley I have read your response re developments 1. WD/2014/1565/MEA  Walshes Farm WD/2019/0641/MAO  Orchid Stables Walshes Rd  **** 3 WD/2019/1169/MRM  Rockington Nursery Blackness Rd.   also applicable in my comments  are            4.Catesby Development   Luxford Road Sandygate  WD/2019/0292/RM. 6 Nightingale Homes  Walshes Road   We have very serious concerns re...

Answer: Dear Lyn Onslow Thank-you for getting in touch. I do appreciate your concerns. While an independent traffic consultant can provide some helpful observations, East Sussex Highways is the statutory consultee on traffic and road safety matters in a planning application. Should a Wealden planning committee decide to refuse an application on highway grounds when the...

Luxford Road, Crowborough

27 February 2020

Question: Dear Mr Standley, I have just read a copy of your response to Sarah Rohan regarding development in the Luxford Road area of Crowborough. You have certainly laid yourself wide open to ridicule here as your response does nothing more than reinforce what residents have concluded all along ie, Wealden has no understanding of the...

Answer: Dear David Backley, I drive in the north of the District every day and I am well aware of the increasing level of traffic. East Sussex Highways is the statutory consultee on traffic and road safety matters. Should a Wealden planning committee decide to refuse an application on highway grounds when the statutory consultee says...

Access arrangements for new developments

13 February 2020

Question: Explain how existing Wealden residents are to have safe walking/ cycling access for their children to get to schools shops docs green space for recreation and recycling / rubbish collection and health, jobs etc when, for example Catesby Homes or Gleesons etc, are being given permission to overdevelop ridiculous number of houses on eg Luxford/...

Answer: Dear Margaret Harding, Safe pedestrian access, proximity to local facilities, adequate green recreational space, access for the District’s recycling crews – these are all matters which are considered when decided applications for any major development in our District. No application goes before our Planning Committees until it has been carefully examined and assessed by our...

Protecting Ashdown Forest

13 February 2020

Question: If the Submission Plan is withdrawn on Feb 19th, how do you intend to protect the Ashdown Forest in the future? Section 106 agreements for Mitigation tariffs to pay for monitoring and electric charging points are already being presumptively removed . See minutes of PCS Jan 30th 2020. Will you continue monitoring, and what will...

Answer: Dear Kathryn Richardson, Ashdown Forest is a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. We will continue to fulfil all our statutory obligations to help protect this important habitat as we move towards drawing up a new Local Plan. We are working with Natural England and our...

Pedestrian safety on Luxford Road, Crowborough

13 February 2020

Question: How and will you, as the Leader of WDC going to ensure the safety of my child based on the statement that follows? I have to walk my nine month old child to his childminder which is approx 500 meters up the road (Luxford Road in Crowborough) , up a road which is a narrow...

Answer: Dear Sarah Rohan Thank-you for raising this matter. I do appreciate your safety concerns. The lower part of Luxford Road, like many in Wealden, is a rural lane which was not meant for heavy traffic use. As part of the planning application process for major housing applications, including the recent Rockington Nursery development, our Council...

5 Year Land Supply calculation

3 February 2020

Question: Question 1, Why does WDC not use windfalls when calculating 5 year land supply figures. Question 2, Could you supply in plan language and the formula used to calculate the WDC OAN number.   Michael Gadd

Answer: Dear Michael Gadd, These are technical questions and I am afraid the explanations may not be as clear as you would like, but I hope you find the following answers helpful: In answer to Question 1:  National planning policy confirms that an allowance can be made for ‘windfall sites’ as part of anticipated supply, should...

Secretary of State response to Local Plan decision

30 January 2020

Question: Following the failure of the Wealden Local Plan and the anticipated withdrawal of the Plan by the Council, has Wealden District Council received any indication from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government pursuant to Section 27A of and paragraph 7B of schedule A1 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004...

Answer: Dear Mr Larkin. Thank-you for your enquiry. The Council has not received any communication from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on this subject.   regards Bob Standley