Wealden Local Plan
Update note regarding the timetable for plan production
1 November 2023
As you may recall, in December 2022, we confirmed that we would pause work on our forthcoming Local Plan consultation (the ‘Regulation 18’ consultation) that was, at that time, due to commence in January 2023.
The delay resulted from the confirmation that the Government was proposing to bring forward a series of changes to the national planning system, both through legislation and changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
Whilst we have seen some progress with the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act gaining Royal Assent, many of its provisions for the planning system rely on yet to be defined secondary legislation or changes to the NPPF, for which no firm date for publication has been set.
The Council’s commitment to a new local plan is strong. We want a local plan to help ensure that development can be managed in accordance with strong, innovative policies around climate change, the built and natural environment, biodiversity net gain, our local economy, housing standards and more besides.
Preparing our local plan with the uncertainty caused by national changes is complex and not without risk, however there are also risks associated with not progressing with our local plan.
As such, whilst we still need to officially update the timetable for the local plan, via a formal report to our Local Plan Sub Committee in due course, we are today announcing our intention to consider our draft local plan at a special meeting of Full Council on 8 February 2024, with the formal Regulation 18 consultation to take place in the following weeks (exact dates to be confirmed).
This is, of course, subject to the potential publication of any update to the NPPF and the extent and direction of the final changes. However, we are clear that we want our plan to proceed. Our intention, so far as possible, is to resolve any potential tensions between our draft plan and any updated NPPF between regulation 18 and 19 and not further delay our plan.
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