East Hoathly Village Concerns Blog

lots of acronyms – please see categories: Abbreviations

Biodiversity and Planning in Sussex

Sussex Wildlife Trust have produced a really useful guidance document for those concerned about the environmental impact of development in Sussex; and there are dozens of links to further information: find here.

Wealden candidates’ views on Planning and Development issues.

Village concerns has sent a letter regarding Planning issues to all Parliamentary party candidates for Wealden. The replies we have received so far are found here.

liberal-democrats-ppc-for-wealden-answers-questions-from-village-concerns

green-party-ppc-for-wealden-answers-questions-from-village-concerns

Village Concerns is not promoting any particular party but we are interested in candidates’ views on Planning and Development issues.

Below are links to the list of candidates and their agents in case you wish to make further enquiries.

http://www.wealden.gov.uk/nmsruntime/saveasdialog.aspx?lID=22178&sID=610

http://www.wealden.gov.uk/nmsruntime/saveasdialog.aspx?lID=22180&sID=610

Community Habitat Mapping (Thanks to Nick Daines)

As Wealden do not appear to challenge developers when they assert that development will increase biodiversity by providing private gardens, something like this may be useful to better understand the biodiversity we currently have:

https://www.facebook.com/events/640152019517000/

Wealden’s golden goose.

Countryside is our biggest asset

Latest on the WDC Local Plan (27th April 2017 special thanks to Nick Daines)

Responding to a question from SVC Group Secretary (www.stopvinescorner.co.uk): ……has the WDC Local Plan ‘progress’ gone a bit ‘quiet’?
Nick Daines replies:
“””
You are right, publically at least, progress on the local plan has gone quiet. No evidence studies/documents are available even though the draft plan makes many references to them.

The draft plan was first available in the agenda papers published on 3 March for the Local Plan Subcommittee and Joint Planning Committee’s 13 March meetings. The proposal was for 14,102 houses to be built between 2013 – 2028. Wealden acknowledged that NOx damage to Ashdown Forest may be an issue and was modelling the effect from 11,456 houses as an alternative. The recommendation before both committees was that the portfolio holder recommends the draft plan to Full Council for consultation and submission.

On 13 March, Wealden told both committees that the 14,101 houses would cause unacceptable damage to the Forest and they would be proceeding with the 11,456 houses. This would mean changing policies in the draft plan and the housing allocations. However, the recommendation was unchanged and both committees duly accepted it!

The agenda papers for the 22 March Full Council meeting recommended that the draft plan be approved for publication for consultation and submission to the Secretary of State.  However, at the meeting Wealden accepted that the evidence base was not complete (notably the Sustainability Appraisal, which is a statutory requirement) and that further work was needed on the draft plan. The recommendation was changed to noting progress on the plan and requesting that the plan be brought back to council at the earliest opportunity. The council accepted this revised recommendation.

Clearly, Wealden is in considerable disarray – on 3 March expecting councillors to prove a plan for 14,101 houses, but by 22 March accepting that some very fundamental areas of the 3 March plan would have to change.

It is now apparent that any further development in Wealden will cause damage to Ashdown Forest and that no further development can proceed until the compensatory measures have been agreed and delivered.

Wealden is confidant that the 5YLS is now not an issue – they accept that they do not have a 5YLS, but due to the Ashdown Forest issue, have evidence (unpublished) that any development will cause damage so is therefore unsustainable. I wonder how long developers will accept this position before one submits an application and then tests the rejection though an appeal?

The next draft of the plan will have to contain a mitigation strategy approved by Natural England for Ashdown Forest. I anticipate that Wealden will be discussing with landowners whether they would be willing to make their land available to provide mitigation. This may take some time as the landowners will want a fee for loss of use which will have to be paid by developers. Thus, the next draft may take some time to surface. Alternatively, if Natural England cave in and decide that the NOx damage can be accepted, then the next draft could follow shortly thereafter…..

“””

All 4 Better Development – White Paper response

The Government’s Housing White Paper is now out for consultation.
It’s important as many groups and individuals respond, to show why it needs to do MUCH more to protect the UK’s natural environment.
You can read the Housing White Paper here:  www.gov.uk/government/collections/housing-white-paper .
And you can take part in the consultation here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QLLWWSS until 2nd May.
What you may wish to say:
– The Housing White Paper provides no proof of a housing crisis
– The measures to ‘strengthen’ Neighbourhood Planning provide nothing which will prevent developers riding roughshod over communities. Emerging plans must be an overriding consideration in planning.
– Local authorities will face further punishment if below 85% of the housing approved isn’t built. So if developers fail to build, a local authority’s housing target will go up by 20%. This is clearly wrong.
– There are no strong measures to incentivise building on brownfield. Brownfield must be the first option.
– The presumption in favour of sustainable development must be removed.
– There must be a community right of appeal.
This is what I wrote about the White Paper at the time:
and here was my reponse to the Government’s response to our petition:
And keep pushing the petition!
Adam

All For Better Development or All4 BD

Village Concerns has signed up to support a group called All For Better Development or All4 BD.  The Group was set up by Adam Zerny an independent Councillor in Bedfordshire.  The group shares many of our concerns and is gathering support from similar groups all over the country.  They have petitioned parliament to get the matter debated.  We ask you to consider signing “This petition calls for a parliamentary debate on government Housing and Planning policy over building on greenfield land and seeks community right of appeal on planning decisions and the removal of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.” at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/177333  They currently have nearly 21,000 signatures and are keen to move up the list.  They issue regular bulletins of their progress which we are monitoring and will pass on important updates to you through our VC Updates but please help by signing the petition.  They are planning to organise a march on parliament and a “hands around green spaces” protest.  If you want to get more involved with their activities then you can check the Facebook page All4BetterDevelopment

Update on the Wealden Local Plan 20th March 2017

Statement from Ann Newton (Portfolio Holder for Planning)

FAQs on the new Draft Local Plan

FAQs released 15th March 2017 prior to Full Council Meeting on 22nd March.

UK for sale?

Guardian 17th March 2017