East Hoathly Village Concerns Blog

lots of acronyms – please see categories: Abbreviations

Archive for August, 2016

A letter to Nus Ghani, MP

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

As you are aware there are several concerns about the proposed development in East Hoathly.

I quote from an E mail you sent to a villager.

“ The Wealden Local Plan will look to provide housing in a way that maintains the character of villages  and towns and where key decisions are taken locally”

I also quote from the meetins of the Wealden Local Plan Sub Committee Aril 20th 2016

Ann Newton Chair ” Given the significant number of houses we are being required to build it is important that infrastructure is delivered with the housing.”

I presume she means required by the Government.

Bob Standly Vice Chair “We need to ensure the process is plan led and not developer lead”.

These are fine words but very different from what is happening on the ground.

We had a consultation with Parker Dann on August 12th re proposed 211 houses on Hesmonds Stud.

A 50% increase in houses in the village.

The consultation was ill prepared and profoundly worrying in the response from Parker Dann. . Parker Dann oozed confidence that their application would be approved by Wealden District Council, their agent saying it did not matter if there were a 1000 objections and a Planning Officer had already approved it. I list my concerns reported back to me by villagers  below.

1) Four Representatives, no name plates. A case of find the agent for the many people who attended despite the meeting being held  in the holiday season.

2) No introductory talk

3) A few boards with some CAD designs showing no sensitivity to the rural environment.

4) An architect who was unaware that the village has no natural gas supply.

5) No plans in place for Sewage treatment. A major issue already for the village infrastructure

6) Waste Water dealt with by Attenuation ponds. Responibility for these could be for residents in perpetuity.

7) When asked where the new residents of 211 houses would work the facetious response by the agent was “ The Village hairdressers.“ The same agent said development could go ahead in East Hoathly instead of other villages because it had a Hairdressers.

Villagers came away from this consultation feeling there was no hope, the developers had it all sown up.

It will go ahead regardless of all the infrastructure problems and our views unless you and WDC get together and address the problems of why we are in this situation. It goes against ever thing you are both saying . Stop passing the buck between you. Already many inappropriate applications in Wealden have gone through for fear of expensive appeals not Planning Grounds.

I again quote from the meeting of local Plan meeting  April 26th

Cllr Ann Newton has been given a mandate to “robustly raise”a number of concerns with the Secretary of State Greg Clark. These include  the significant amount of additional houses Wealden is expected to deliver , how the infrastructure will be funded and the way the current rules leave the Council vunerable to speculative development .

I realise Greg   Clark had now been replaced by Sajid Javid as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

As far as I know no meeting has taken place. You, as our elected representative in Parliament could hasten this meeting.

Your constituency Wealden is at the mercy of speculative developers. It is your responsibility to do something about it.

It would be very helpful if you could visit our village to fully understand the problems for the village these changes will bring. There are already plans for yet another 200 houses in the pipe line. This is an important issue and cannot be passed back to Wealden.

Is WDC driven by cash and not community interests?

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) para 48 allows for the inclusion of windfall sites (i.e. current applications) within housing targets and the 5-year housing land supply in Districts where there is a strong record of windfall delivery. Wealden has such a record. Contributions from windfalls are included in housing totals in other approved Sussex local plans. Why not here? (see ‘Response to Wealden Local Plan’ from CPRE Sussex: http://www.cpresussex.org.uk/…/2651-response-to-wealden-loc…).
This is the baffling statement from our WDC cabinet member for Planning and Development (who is also our Clerk to the Parish Council); to quote:
“””
…The legal advice is that we cannot include windfalls in the calculation. The NPPF (paragraph 48) does state that windfalls can be included in future projections but only if there is “compelling evidence” that these will take place. We are obtaining advice on exactly what constitutes “compelling evidence” in order to be able to seek ways of including windfalls in the future….
“”” (see live video:https://www.facebook.com/HallandVillage/videos/280033372331588/).
The preferred options allocate very high levels of new housing to several villages – in the near term East Hoathly will double in size! This is not to support the rural economy and simply plans for a substantial increase in long distance commuting by the private car. This is extremely unsustainable, and thus contrary to NPPF paras 30, 34, 37, 38 & 95.

 

Nus Ghani, MP wants more housing

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Nus Ghani, MP says:
‘Wealden needs more people/houses because employers tell her they have a shortage of labour….’

From SWOT:

“””
On the East Sussex in Figures website, I found the following information for Wealden for 2015/16:

Economically active 72,200 people
Unemployed (included within the economically active numbers) 2,700 people
Economically inactive but want a job 5,800 people

Thus, to my way of thinking, there are 8,500 people in Wealden who are either unemployed or don’t have a job but would like one.

This 8,500 people is 23 times greater than the 365 unemployed that Nus infers are available to meet those employers who claim that there is a need for more workers.

It is clear that using the unemployment claimant figure of 365 dramatically underestimates the number of people who are not in employment but are available for work. However, I would accept that a proportion of the 8,500 may be either unsuitable or unavailable for work (e.g. full time family carer or long term sickness).

I consider that the ESiF data does not indicate that there is a serious labour shortage in Wealden.

“””

A better interpretation of Hopkins by the minister – Wealden beware!

Friday, August 26th, 2016

This decision by Sajid Javid has thankfully blown a large hole in Wealden‘s application of the Hopkins judgement..

This part of Buckinghamshire had a persistent undersupply of housing, but despite this, Javid overturned the inspector’s decision to approve a 1,500 house application, throwing it out on the basis that the development would result in a fundamental change to the character of the landscape and would threaten the identity of the village of Bierton.

Javid gave the lack of housing very considerable weight, but still decided that this would not outweigh the harm caused. He affirmed that policies in the development plan should be given some weight even though both sides agreed that there was only a three year land supply.

I feel a further note to Wealden councillors is due in light of this decision.

Elsewhere (and I can’t now find where), Javid has indicated that he considers that an allocation of sites in a local plan effectively amounts to a mandate for development. This means that once  the new local plan has been adopted that any allocated sites within it are effectively lost. With Wealden now jumping next to the publication of the submission copy of the plan, our only formal chance of influence on any sites is by means of a comment on the submission plan and at the adoption hearing. So much for local democracy.

Protecting the Future of East Hoathly Village

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

If you are concerned about the future of East Hoathly village it is vital you attend the meeting below.
The Public Consultation on Plans for 211 houses on Hesmonds Stud Friday August 12th 2016 3pm till 8pm East Hoathly Village Hall
These plans represent over a 50% increase in the number of homes in East Hoathly. The village has already had over 70 new homes in Juzier and Nightingales with no upgrade in infrastructure. More land has been offered to Wealden District Council (WDC) for development in the village. This could just be the start.
– This will have an impact on every part of the village and change the community forever!
A Public Consultation is a precursor to an Outline Planning Application. Villagers must ask as many questions as possible and make their views known at every stage. Be aware that improved infrastructure and development do not go hand in hand.
We are sure everybody has lots of questions of their own but below are a few issues that could be raised regarding the developer’s awareness and intentions. Will they be doing feasibility reports and consulting service providers on any of these matters before plans are taken further?
– Sewage and surface water are already a problem in the village. What systems are going to be put in place for the new development? Be wary of any plans for Package Treatment Plants for Sewage and Attenuation Ponds for waste water, both have caused problems in other areas.
– Traffic Issues. With our very limited public transport service most households will need at least 2 cars to go to work, shop, and take children to school. 400 more cars on the High Street will cause gridlock
– Electricity and Water Supply. We are subject to frequent Power cuts and some interruptions to the water supply.
– Wild Life. Great Crested Newts are in Long Pond. Habitats in hedgerows, green fields and trees will be destroyed.
– Primary School. Classes in the Village school are full. Where will younger children go to school?
– GPs and Surgery. The surgery is now effectively a branch of the Buxted Surgery. The service available in East Hoathly has been drastically cut back. It is almost impossible to get an appointment in the village.
– Heating New Homes. The village has no natural gas supply. What system will be used? If it is oil, that means more tankers and more oil tanks in gardens.
– What is the time scale for this development? Will it be phased over several years?
– What will the developers be offering the village in terms of improved facilities.
At the moment Wealden District Council Planning, by their own admission, is developer led.
The only chance we have to influence matters is to make our voice heard in large numbers.