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East Hoathly Village Concerns Blog » Objections

East Hoathly Village Concerns Blog

lots of acronyms – please see categories: Abbreviations

Archive for the ‘Objections’ Category

Air pollution in East Sussex

Monday, December 5th, 2016

The UK Government has been ordered by a High Court judge to draw up an improved plan by July next year which must bring air pollution within legal limits.

UK domestic law places a requirement for Local Authorities to try to meet air quality objectives. The European Commission did start legal proceedings against the UK Government in 2014 for failing to meet legal limits which could result in substantial fines. In the same year the UK Government wrote to all Local Authorities to remind them that these fines could be passed down to them through the Localism Act, if it could be proven that they did not do enough to improve the situation.

There’s a budget of up to £75 million to tinker with the A27 (2015-2020). But what about the A22?  Both the A27 and the A22 suffer from congestion, delays and below average journey times with some drivers diverting to unsuitable local roads. Think of the air pollution! Think what further pollution 300 extra cars in East Hoathly will create: we have no local train station; the bus service cannot support commuting to work.

SWOT Assessment of Wealden 5YLS

Monday, September 12th, 2016

SWOT Assessment of Wealden 5YLS

Communities Secretary refuses outline permission for 400-home dev.

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Javid blocks Newmarket housing development

09092016 Communication from SWOT

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Sept 2016 Communication from SWOT

Objections to the Hesmond and Bradford plans

Friday, September 9th, 2016

The following objections to the Hesmond and Bradford plans are guided by some of the reasons given by Sajid Javid in his blocking of the Buckingamshire houses over landscape impact:

1) Both plans fail to comply with the core planning principles of the National Planning Policy Framework to recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside, to conserve and enhance the natural environment and to reuse land that has previously been developed. Both developments are of a scale and nature on a Greenfield site in the open countryside, which would result in the loss of best and most versatile agricultural and stud land. The developments would cause harm by the significant adverse visual and landscape character impact on the area of the development sites and their surrounding valued landscape.

2) From both plans, it is not considered that the developments could take place without having a severe impact on the existing highway network and it has not been proven to promote sustainable transport or conform with the strategic objectives to reduce congestion, inconvenience and hazards on the local highway network and therefore, would fail to accord with the advice contained in the National Planning Policy Framework.

3) The proposed developments do not seek to provide any dedicated employment land and as such, makes little contribution to the job needs of its population or the wider area exacerbating problems of out-commuting. The absence of any employment land in the mix of uses would not help to secure economic growth and weighs against the sustainability credentials of the scheme and would fail to accord with the advice contained in the National Planning Policy.

4) Further observation of both plans questions the provision of 35% affordable housing on site, acceptable levels of education provision, leisure and equipped play provision, community facilities, environmental standards and necessary infrastructure either through on or off site provision or financial contribution.

See a list of general objections.

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.

What is WDC up to?

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

From SWOT:


Briefly, the Council has decided:

  1. Not to review the Core Strategy (CS) as required by the examining inspector, but to compile an entirely new local plan despite the CS only being adopted in 2013.
  1. To entirely withdraw the Strategic Sites Local Plan in May 2015, rather than include an amendment to one strategic site in Hailsham as requested by the inspector.
  1. Not to produce the Delivery and Sites Allocation Local Plan, a fundamental part of the local plan .
  1. To backdate the start of the new local plan to 2013, despite there being in place a current, adopted, NPPF compliant Core Strategy.
  1. To accept a Strategic Housing Market Assessment containing major errors that result in the inflated OAHN of 735 houses/year.
  1. To produce a five year land supply (5YLS) paper that grossly underestimates the actual land supply position

The result of these actions is to create practically a perfect storm resulting in the almost total inability of the Council to refuse most housing planning applications. This results in a totally unsatisfactory developer led situation.

The Council has recently published its 5 year land supply as at 31 March 2016. This document contains errors in both the numbers and the analysis. When corrected, the document would demonstrate that the Council does have a 5YLS. Thus, you should be able to use the current Core Strategy when you are considering applications, rather than follow the incorrect officer advice that the relevant housing policies are out of date. With one or two exceptions, most rural authorities work very hard and take, where necessary, a very imaginative approach to be able to demonstrate a successful 5YLS. However, not Wealden, who appear to gone out of their way to show that they don’t have a 5YLS.

The current completely developer led situation that several of you complained about at PCS on 21 July is likely to continue for several years. The advice you received that it would be ameliorated once the new local plan is adopted is not correct. There will only be an improvement if the Council is prepared to re-examine the incorrect SHMA and take a more balanced approach to calculating the 5YLS. Neither the Leader, CEO, Portfolio Holder for Planning & Development or any planning officer appear to be willing to make any changes. Therefore, if you are concerned about the amount of green fields lost to development with all the resulting related issues, please hold your Council to account.

I have recently been made aware that a critique of the SHMA was submitted to the Council in December by a group of concerned residents. I attach a copy of this critique and although it is quite long and detailed, would urge you to read it. The content remains highly relevant.

Do you have any doubts on the Council’s 5YLS position or the housing numbers proposed in the SHMA? If so, please will you challenge the Council now, before too much cost is expended on preparing a new local plan and too many more applications “have to be approved due to a lack of a 5YLS”. The Council appears not to want to engage with members of the public when they raise their concerns, so I implore you to fulfill your function and actively challenge on behalf of the District’s very concerned residents.

I acknowledge that unfortunately, some of you are happy with the status-quo, but I hope that the majority of you are not and do not wish to see Wealden’s green spaces needlessly urbanised. Please take some action, as further inaction will result in continued despoilation of our rural surroundings.


Wealden has published a new 5YLS document

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Wealden has published a new 5YLS document that shows that they only have a 3.96 year land supply.

To achieve this figure, they have estimated that they will build 3,509 houses in the next five years against a requirement of 4,435 houses.

This 4,435 requirement has been calculated by using the 735 houses/year OAN and by backdating the new plan to 2013, this creates a 549 house backlog. Wealden has used the Sedgefield method to eliminate this backlog

In addition, Wealden has not counted any windfalls in the numbers of houses to be built.

By making just one change to the analysis, I can make the 3.96 years into 4.96 years. This change is one recommended by the inspector who found the Lewes plan sound earlier this year. His point was that any housing backlog should be derived from the housing target in place at the time, not by backdating the new target. Using this method, Wealden’s 549 house backlog becomes a 306 house surplus which can then be deducted from the target. The revised target then becomes 3,537 houses, which is only 28 houses short of a 5YLS.

I think that the extra 28 houses could be easily found if Wealden wanted a 5YLS. They could legitimately include some windfalls given their past record of windfall delivery, or they could take a slightly different view of the 3,509 houses they assess will be built over the next five years.

In the second page of their document, they have listed all the large sites where they consider 1,975 of the total 3,509 houses will be built. Taking just one site, Site G Uplands Farm, they have included the 82 houses granted permission in 2013. However, earlier this year, a revised application was granted permission for 183 houses. If this site starts delivering houses as Wealden has indicated in 2018/19, then it should build at least 150 houses by 2021. This would then make the 3,509 total 3,577 houses, equivalent to a 5.06 year land supply.

I’ve noticed that two other large sites (Land at West Uckfield and Land at East Hailsham) are showing a much reduced delivery in this 31 March 2016 land supply document than in Chris Bending’s evidence to last August’s Oaklands inquiry. Both of these sites have slipped back two years reducing the housing supply by at least 242 houses. The slippage may be real, but it may not be………..

Another of the large sites at Stone Cross is shown as starting to deliver houses in 2017/18. However, work started in the summer of 2015 and I bet that some of the houses will be occupied before the end of this year. We may find that the delivery rate of the 1,975 houses in this table is pessimistic in terms of both numbers and timing.

Nothing in the new document has led me to change my opinion that Wealden has engineered a situation where they do not have a 5YLS. I feel that were they minded to achieve a 5YLS, they could easily produce legitimate figures to demonstrate this position.