Wealden District Council’s Planning Service encourages public involvement in the planning application process. You can be involved by:
You may become aware of a planning application in your area from:
- 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.
From 1st November 2020 we changed how we notify on planning applications, for more details see the Update on how we notify on Planning Applications page.
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 caes).
- 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.
To make sure you do not miss any information that is added to a planning application you are interested in, you can subscribe for email alerts. The Council use the website and social media to communicate any amendments (if made) to planning applications and you can find out the final decision of the application. Registration for updates is free, though an active e-mail account is required. For more information on how to keep up to date with planning applications see our page dedicated to this.
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)
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. For more information please view our page regarding Covid-19.
It is possible to still register to speak on planning applications that come to Committee, however our speaking rules have been amended during this pandemic.
The Council operates a scheme of public speaking at these Committee meetings prior to consideration of any application being reported on the agendas, where up to 2 people for, and 2 people against an application may address the meetings for up to 2 minutes each (3 minutes for major applications).
Once the Planning Officer has evaluated all the information received on an application, it is assessed against the Council’s approved planning policies and other relevant matters. If it is considered inappropriate for the application to have a decision issued under delegated powers, the application will be reported to Members of the appropriate Planning Committee for decision. See the Lifecycle of Planning Application for a flow chart explanation and view details of the Council’s Scheme of Delegation – Section 7.1, from page 35)
The applicant has the right of appeal to the Secretary of State at the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions in the following circumstances:
- 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)
Please Note: Third parties (ie local residents) do not have a right of appeal against any decision made by the Planning Authority. Correspondence with third parties following the decision will not be undertaken due to workloads. If you do have any concerns regarding the decision making process, please refer to the Council’s Complaints Procedure.
Development Management is split into two teams of Planning Officers that cover North and South Teams within Wealden.
N.B. South Downs National Park are the responsible Planning Authority for the following Parishes/Towns;
- Fully responsible for; Alfriston, Cuckmere Valley, East Dean and Friston
- Partially responsible for; Alciston, Berwick, Long Man, Polegate, Selmeston, Willingdon and Jevington
General enquiries should be made through firstname.lastname@example.org. In order for us to respond easily, a valid email address should be provided as limited post is now being sent from the Planning Service.
Case officers will be available by email, and this is the preferred method of contact. Contact by phone is still available although please bear in mind that we will be prioritising calls for the council’s critical services, and therefore we would ask that wherever possible you communicate with officers via e-mail. Officers will be able to phone you back, if required and where contact details are provided.