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Stiles Harold Williams - News

Stiles Harold Williams news.

2 August 2017

Wealden Local Plan insights

Earlier this summer Wealden District Council presented at a breakfast briefing supported by the Federation of Small Businesses.

The main purpose of the breakfast was to have an update provided by on their production of their new local plan.  The speakers from WDC were Marina Brigginshaw, Head of Planning policy and Economic Development and Nigel Hannam, Director of Planning policy and Economic Development.  
Alex Bateman of SHW was the only Planning Consultant in attendance – and here is a brief summary of what was discussed:

• Local plan review will supersede the core strategy and other adopted planning policy
• Core strategy started in 2007 adopted in 2013 (reviews in 2015 due to environmental constraints including waste water treatment and the Ashdown Forest)
• Consultation on the issues and options was completed towards the end of 2015
• This identified a need for 20,000 homes within Wealden District mainly in the South due to the Ashdown Forest and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty constraints
• The next consultation will be towards the end of summer 2017
• By the end of 2017, Wealden District Council aims to submit their local plan to the Planning Inspectorate
• The examination in public is expected over 2018, with adoption to the end of 2018

SHW Planning: Alex Bateman / 01273 876265

• Existing research identifies current nitrogen deposition is above acceptable levels if allocated numbers of housing are built
• Wealden District Council still recognises a need for housing across the district
• The approach needs to deal with the high levels of nitrogen deposition with a wide range of mitigation considerations including alternative land designations for Heathland, or potentially extreme measures such as road closures, tolls or tunnels
• The new local plan would include regular reviews triggered by ongoing nitrogen levels, waste water improvements and A27 upgrades
• In 2017 the research identified a need to provide 830 dwellings per annum
• However demographics changed and now this figure is 950 dwellings per annum – this does not take in consideration environmental constraints
• Modelling and the new Core Strategy has identified a likely allocation of 575 dwellings per annum across the region, again mainly in the south
• Evidence based on employment space has also been undertaken with a higher provision than that suggested by the demographics being suggested
• Wealden District Council is to meet with DCLG later in June which will help to clarify if compensatory land solutions would be acceptable to them.

SHW Director of Planning Alex Bateman said: “As with much of the south east the Wealden District is subject to arguably unprecedented developmental and environmental pressures. Fortunately the Local Authority is well informed and looking to carry out sensible amelioration measures wherever possible to facilitate development.”

For further information please contact.

Alex Bateman
Alex Bateman BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI
01273 876265
07711 132009