We encourage public involvement in the planning application process and you can be involved by:
- Seeing a site notice in the vicinity of the site
- Finding information from the Wealden Planning website on our Planning Applications Online System.
- Reading a public notice or article in the local newspaper
- Looking at the published Weekly List of applications received
- Receiving a ‘MyAlerts’ notification. You can sign up to ‘My Alerts’ and receive alerts of planning applications within a certain distance of your property.
- Word of mouth from a friend/colleague
- Social media
- Information from your Parish or Town Council who are consulted on planning applications in their area and have 21 days to respond.
You can give your views on, object to, or support any application that’s currently open for consultation – even if it doesn’t affect you.
Most planning applications have a period in which you may make comments. You may comment on an application until the latest of these dates:
- The expiry of the site notice
- The expiry of the advert (where relevant)
The dates above will be displayed on the main details page of the planning application in our Planning Applications Online System.
Please ensure that you quote the planning application number in your correspondence and include your name and full postal address. If you do not include your name and address your comments will be classed as anonymous and not taken into consideration by the planning officer.
To submit comments on an application you can;
- Click on the ‘Comment on this application’ button on the details page of the planning application. The button will be shown only during the consultation period (the later of the three dates given above) during which comments can be made.
- Email your comments to email@example.com
- Write a letter and post your comments to The Planning Department at the Council Offices, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham BN27 2AX. Please note that from the 19th March 2020 the post received into the Council to Planning is only being checked intermittently due to staff working remotely. Regretfully this will slow down your comments being received and we would urge you to use electronic correspondence where possible instead.
Important notes about commenting on a planning application
- Any representations received must be made available for public inspection, (in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Access to Information Act (1985)) and this means that the Council cannot treat any comments made on a planning application as confidential. Any comments you make will form part of the background papers to the planning application and will be available for public inspection both on the planning file and on the Internet. Every effort will be made to remove personal details such as telephone numbers, email addresses and signatures prior to the information appearing on the Internet, although wherever possible, please do not include these details. Please Note: your name and address will be published on the internet until a decision is made on the application (whether by The Council or The Planning Inspectorate).
- Whilst late comments will be taken into consideration by the case officer, where applicable, it may be too late to report these in full to the relevant Committee.
- All comments received on an application will be considered prior to a decision being made, however we are unable to respond to individual comments within letters owing to the volume of correspondence received. Unfortunately we are also unable to enter into correspondence received after a decision has been made.
- There are also applications including Prior Notifications, where there is little or no public consultation required either to local residents or Town/Parish Councils.
When making a comment you will need to give detailed reasons about why you support or oppose a proposal and be aware of what we can and can’t take into consideration.
It is worth remembering that it is not the number of responses that may affect a planning decision, but the planning issues raised.
What planning issues we consider:
- Local and national planning policies.
- Government circulars, orders and statutory instruments.
- Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions).
- Design, visual appearance and materials.
- Overshadowing, loss of outlook (but not loss of view).
- Noise and disturbance from use.
- Light pollution.
- Highway safety issues.
- Traffic generation.
- Vehicular access.
- Adequacy of parking.
- Impact / loss of trees / hedgerows.
- Nature conservation and effect on protected species.
- Intrusion into the open countryside.
- Risk of flooding.
- Effect of listed buildings and conservation areas.
- Hazardous materials and ground contamination.
What planning issues we cannot consider:
- Loss of view including over other land
- Rights to light.
- Loss of property value.
- Breach of restrictive covenant.
- The level of profit a developer might make.
- Personal circumstances of the applicant (in most cases).
- Objections based on race, religion or sexual orientation of the applicant.
- Moral objections e,g, to uses such as betting offices
- Matters controlled under building regulations or other non-planning laws, e.g. structural stability, drainage, fire precautions, environmental protection etc.
- Private issues between neighbours e.g. land/boundary disputes, loss of ability to maintain property, damage to property, private rights of way, covenants etc.
- Problems arising from the construction period of any works, e.g. noise, dust, construction vehicles etc.
- Retrospective nature of approval sought i.e. if development is already built or started without permission. It is still necessary to look only at the planning merits.
Offensive, racist, discriminatory, threatening and other statements that are not appropriate will not be published.
- Offensive statements lower a person’s reputation personally within their trade, profession or business.
- Racist statements are those that are offensive or discriminate against individuals on racial grounds, including their race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins. Gypsies and other minorities are racial groups.
- Statements that discriminate on grounds of religion, sexuality or disability will also not be published.
- Comments that include such statements will be rejected and returned back to you but can be resubmitted in a more acceptable form.
The Council is bound by the Equality Act 2010 which applies to those providing services and public functions and prohibits direct and indirect discrimination and harassment all of which these types of remarks might amount to.
The council reserve the right not to publish comments.
There are two Planning Committees, North and South. Each of these two Committees generally meet every four weeks. Due to the Government restrictions imposed as a result of Covid-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, certain changes have been made to the arrangements for the Planning Committee meetings.
The dates of forthcoming meetings can be found on the Council’s timetable of meetings.
The agenda for the forthcoming/current meeting is available five working days before the meeting. This is also available for public inspection at the Council Offices.
Minutes of previous meetings are also available for public inspection at the Council Offices or online:
Both North and South Committees meet on a Thursday at 10.00am in the Civic Community Hall, Council Offices, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham.
Unfortunately, there is a backlog of cases awaiting committee decision. This relates to both area committees though is most pressing in the South of the District. We are working hard to clear this work though priority will be given to new housing and employment floor area generating applications. We recognise that any application is important, but residential and new employment cases will assist the Council’s land supply and also the economic recovery from Covid-19.
It is still possible to register to speak at the Planning Committees, please see the next section for more information. (UPDATE 19.05.2021)
- if a decision has not been reached within 8/13 weeks of the application being received by the Council
- upon receipt of a decision notice either for refusal or approval (where the applicant is aggrieved by any condition imposed)
Two teams of Planning Officers cover the North and South areas of the District.
North Team covering Buxted, Crowborough, Danehill, Fletching, Forest Row, Framfield, Frant, Hadlow Down, Hartfield, Isfield, Little Horstead, Maresfield, Mayfield, Rotherfield, Uckfield, Wadhurst, Withyham.
Team Leader: Vacant
Assistant Team Leader: Rob Bewick
South Team covering Alciston*, Arlington, Berwick*, Chalvington and Ripe, Chiddingly, East Hoathly, Hailsham, Heathfield and Waldron, Hellingly, Herstmonceux, Hooe, Horam, Laughton, Long Man*, Ninfield, Polegate*, Selmeston*, Warbleton, Wartling, Westham, Willingdon and Jevington*.
Team Leader: Sam Prior
Assistant Team Leader: Caitlin Boddy
The Major Applications Team covers all areas in the North and South except those that fall within the responsibility of the South Downs National Park.
Team Leader: Claire Turner
Assistant Team Leader: Matthew Taylor
The South Downs National Park* are the responsible Local Planning Authority fully responsible for applications in Alfriston, Cuckmere Valley, East Dean and Friston with partial responsibility for Alciston, Berwick, Long Man, Polegate, Selmeston, Willingdon and Jevington.
To contact the team or for general enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are contacting us about a specific application please provide the application reference number and the case officers name if known including your contact details. Cases officers will be available by email and this is the preferred method of contact.
You can visit our twitter feed @WDC_Planning for service updates, news and information from planning.