Wealden District Council
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Withdrawal of the Wealden Local Plan

Withdrawal of the Wealden Local Plan (2019)

On 19 February 2020, Wealden District Council formally withdrew its draft Wealden Local Plan 2019 following its Stage One examination process. A Full Council report and minutes of the meeting provide full details of the decision that can be found at the website link below:

Council and Committee Meetings

The Council has issued a statement providing formal notification of the plan’s withdrawal and this can be downloaded below:

The withdrawn Local Plan and related documents have been removed from the public domain as per the legislative requirements. The Council still maintains a planning policy evidence base that is updated regularly and this can be found using the website link below:

Planning Policy Evidence Base

The Council has also prepared a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document following the withdrawal of the draft Wealden Local Plan 2019 to clarify some of the key issues for development in the District in the future. This can be viewed below:

Summary of Events

Wealden District Council submitted the Wealden Local Plan to the Secretary of State for independent examination on 18 January 2019. In response to the submission of the Wealden Local Plan, and in accordance with section 20 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) Louise Nurser BA (Hons) Dip UP MRTPI was appointed by the Secretary of State to conduct the examination of the Plan to determine whether it was ‘sound’ and legally compliant.

Following an extensive Stage One examination process in the spring/summer of 2019, including public hearing sessions, the appointed Inspector provided the Council with a letter on 20 December 2019 setting out the conclusions from the hearing sessions relating to the examination process of the Wealden Local Plan. The letter concluded that the submitted plan cannot proceed further in the examination process and should be withdrawn.

A Council may withdraw a submitted Local Plan at any time, for any reason, prior to adoption. Following receipt on the Inspector’s conclusions, Wealden District Council voted to withdraw the draft Local Plan on 19 February 2020 at its Full Council meeting.

It should be noted that the Council still has a statutory development plan that consists of the adopted Wealden District Core Strategy Local Plan (February, 2013), the saved policies of the adopted Wealden Local Plan (1998) and the Affordable Housing Delivery Local Plan (May, 2016). In addition, the Waste and Minerals Local Plan (February, 2013) and the Waste and Minerals Sites Plan (February, 2017) were adopted by East Sussex County Council and form part of the statutory development plan. Lastly, neighbourhood development plans also form part of the statutory development plan following a successful referendum result and at the time of writing, this includes the Herstmonceux Neighbourhood Plan (July, 2019), Hailsham Neighbourhood Plan (March 2020) and the Hellingly Neighbourhood Plan (February 2021). The Council will now be undertaking further work on a new Local Plan.