Wealden Local Plan

Update 4th February 2020

The Inspector has issued her letter and she will not be accepting or responding to any further communications. 

Letter to Planning Inspectorate – 14th January 2020

The Council has sent a letter to the Planning Inspectorate following the receipt of the Inspectors letter in relation to the stage 1 examination of the Submission Wealden Local plan.

Inspector’s Findings – 6th January 2020

The Planning Inspector, Louise Nurser BA (Hons) Dip UP MRTPI, has provided the Council with a letter setting out the conclusions from the hearing sessions related to Stage 1 of the examination of the Submission version of the Local Plan. 

The Council has produced a media release in response to the letter. 

Further relevant information will be provided in due course.

Update – 8th November 2019

The Planning Inspectorate (Pins) shared the findings of the examination (Stage 1) to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on 25th October 2019 in accordance with the published protocol. Unfortunately, the findings had not been released by MHCLG before the pre-election period which started on 6 November. The Planning Inspectorate has published its approach to casework during the pre-election period and will not be issuing any letters regarding the soundness or legal compliance of local plans, or final reports (including for fact check), until after the election. Therefore Wealden District Council will not be receiving the findings until after the election.

Update – 21st October 2019

The letter from the Inspector regarding stage 1 of the Local Plan has still not been received by Wealden District Council. As of today there is no specific date when Wealden District Council will receive this letter. The Programme Officer will keep this page and anyone who has made Representations, updated as soon as the letter is available.

Inspector’s Appointment

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 has been appointed by the Secretary of State to conduct the examination to determine whether the above-named Local Plan is ‘sound’ and legally compliant.

Important dates and examination documents will be publicised on the Wealden Local Plan Examination web page. Please ensure that you keep abreast of its contents.

Wealden Local Plan Submission

Wealden District Council submitted the Submission Wealden Local Plan for independent examination on 18 January 2019.

The Local Plan submission documents including a full index of the documents submitted to the Planning Inspectorate can be viewed in the Wealden Local Plan Submission Library.

Hard copies of the Submission Wealden Local Plan, Sustainability Appraisal, Habitats Regulations Assessment, Proposals Maps and Consultation Statement will be available for inspection at deposit points across the District from 25 January 2019. Full details are contained within the Notice of Submission Statement.

In addition, all representations submitted during the public consultation periods can be viewed on the consultation portal and copies of the representations in plan order are included within the submission documents which are available on the website.

May 2017

The agenda reports pack for Full Council on 22 March 2017, which includes the revised Wealden Local Plan Draft Proposed Submission (14th March 2017), is available to view on the Council’s website. Please refer to the Wealden Local Plan Draft Proposed Submission FAQs – May 2017  for further information.

February 2017

Committee dates have been confirmed to discuss the Wealden Local Plan Draft Proposed Submission :

  • 13th March 2017 at 10.00 a.m. Local Plan Sub Committee
  • 13th March 2017 at 1.30 p.m. Joint Planning Committee North and South
  • 22nd March 2017 at 10.00 a.m. Full Council
  • Dates for consultation have not yet been confirmed.

October 2016

Wealden District Council, together with partners, have been working hard to move to the next stage of the review of the Wealden Local Plan the representation stage as soon as is reasonably possible and have been aiming for our Full Council on 23 November.

In working towards this date we always knew that a number of the studies we have commissioned, to produce our evidence bases, would be delivered to tight timescales. A number of the studies are complex and interrelated and together with the high demand nationally for the specialist skills required there was always a risk that delays to the studies would impact on our proposed timetable.

This has proved to be the case. The iterative nature of the studies means that there are areas which are not yet complete and for which we require further work. We need to complete this work to ensure we have the full picture before progressing with the next stage of the plan.

For example, one of the key pieces of evidence which is not yet complete is that relating to the impact of development on Ashdown Forest. We have been monitoring levels of nitrogen deposition on the Forest alongside receiving regular ecology reports. These, combined with traffic modelling work we are undertaking in conjunction with the County Council, will give us a comprehensive picture of what development will be possible across the district whilst continuing to protect the Ashdown Forest. As we have flagged from the start, this modelling will need to reflect highways improvements across the district and beyond, for example improvements to the A27, and is therefore a complex piece of work.

It is critical that the proposed plan is sound. Given this evidence base requires further work before it is complete we consider that the most appropriate action is to delay moving to the representation stage of the WLP process. Our aim is to get the work completed as soon as possible with a view to progressing with the representation stage in the first quarter of 2017. The option of proceeding now with incomplete information would be counter-productive and would only extend the overall timescale.

Whilst disappointing, this delay gives us an opportunity to share elements of the plan more widely as they emerge over the next few months rather than all aspects coming together immediately before publication. We anticipate that our overall timescale for the plan will still be within the 2018 target and we will continue to progress the plan as quickly as we reasonably can.