East Hoathly Village Concerns Blog

lots of acronyms – please see categories: Abbreviations

Archive for the ‘What are we doing?’ Category

Wealden Local Plan Update – 12 October 2017

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Following the Wealden Local Plan update issued on 6 September this note provides
further information on progress with the plan:


Village Concerns Annual General Meeting Summary

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Village Concerns had its first AGM on Sept 5th 2017. Despite a rainy night over 20 people attended. Kate Richardson, Chair, gave a recap of the changes in planning policies and Local Plans produced by Wealden District Council, particularly in the last 4 years. She showed how these changes had affected East Hoathly and Halland, in particular in terms of development boundaries and number of houses allocated for future development. After several different allocations, at the moment East Hoathly has an allocation of zero houses and a tightly drawn boundary around existing development, Halland has an allocation of 30 houses and a defined core area.

The number of houses in Wealden as a whole has been reduced because scientific studies have shown that the Ashdown Forest is being damaged by nitrogen oxide gases from car exhausts. As yet it is unclear what the future holds. Wealden are continuing to gather evidence for submission to the delayed draft Local Plan to the Council. No date as yet for this submission.

Agents, such as Parker Dann, have been asked to wait until September 29th 2017, when more information may be available before pursuing determination of their submitted plans whilst WDC move forward with the draft Local Plan. Submitted plans in this location include Hesmonds and Buttsfield Lane for East Hoathly; Bramblebank and Hop Garden for Halland.

Kate Richardson also outlined the work that Village Concerns has been doing since May 2016. From these early beginnings, there is now a Steering Group of 11 members and over 250 supporters. Kate thanked everyone for their hard work.

Things could change again and we need to be ready for this but hopefully there is now a window when both Villages can look positively at planning for their future. The Neighbourhood Plan is well underway – an excellent way forward.

Jonathan Walker then spoke about the Neighbourhood Plan updating us on where the Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan is at now. This was added to by Diane Knill, Parish Councillor and Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee who was present.

David Dobbs presented the Treasurers report on what we have had to spend these past 18 months, this primarily being on the Planning Consultant and the Barrister. We had a slideshow to accompany our AGM which included a slide with our finances, up to date.

Kate Richardson was re-elected as the Chair.

Questions were then taken from the floor (discussions followed) which included: The Foresters; informing the villages about updates including on the bus stops (as perhaps very few realise East Hoathly could still be threatened by the potential 205 new homes on Stud land and also perhaps very few are aware of the delay of Wealden’s final Local Plan); and a discussion on any conflicts of interest that could arise between the PC, NP and Village Concerns. Detailed minutes will follow.

Since Village Concerns’ AGM, WDC have issued an update to interested parties, copy attached for those on our email list. It appears that there is more delay for the Local Plan as evidence is not yet ready for submission. We are not sure how this will affect the plans on hold in East Hoathly and Halland. Much will depend on the actions / patience of developers. Maybe we will know more at the end of September.

For those of you reading this poster, if you would like to see the Wealden update referred to above and you are not on our email list, please email us at:   villageconcerns2016@gmail.com  and request the update.

Thank you.

Village Concerns AGM

Monday, July 24th, 2017
Village Concerns AGM
Tuesday, September 5th
East Hoathly Village Hall

Election of a District Councillor for Chiddingly and East Hoathly July 2017

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Disappointing turn out at 26.17%.



Wealden candidates’ views on Planning and Development issues.

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

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.



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.



All 4 Better Development – White Paper response

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
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!

All For Better Development or All4 BD

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

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

What we have done

Friday, September 9th, 2016

March 2017 Please let us know about your use of the Ashdown Forest (e.g. leisure / travelling to work). Complete the survey and return to villageconcerns2016@gmail.com

March 2017 Planning Meetings at WDC Hailsham to propose new Local Plan – see postings

Feb 2017 Meeting with our new Acting Ward Councillor to discuss Hesmonds and Buttsfield Lane applications

Jan 2017 Nus Ghani MP accepts our invitation and visits our village

Dec 2016 Objections to the WDC SA for – Hesmonds Stud

Dec 2016 Village Concerns Surgeries for Hesmond Planning Application

Nov 2016 We have employed the services of a Planning Consultant. Please note funding appeal on this blog.

Nov 2016 Village Concerns member Katherine Gutkind presented our Petitions to the Full Wealden Council Meeting on Wed Nov 23rd. View Webcast.

Nov 2016 Response to letter sent to Nus Ghani MP

Nov 2016 Response to letter sent to Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

Nov 2016 Press Release 3

26092016 School Report to PC meeting 26th Sept 2016

28092016 Reports from SE Water and UK Power Networks

26092016 Petition Contact List

……….You can always express your views directly to this list of District Councillors and MPs

12092016 Start of Traffic Survey at East Hoathly Village Corner

12092016 Village Concerns raises banner in East Hoathly

11092016 Village Concerns kicks off petitions:

……….1. door to door

……….2. online

09092016 Nus Ghani Hailsham Surgery

03092016 Buxted Health Care

02092016 Nus Ghani Uckfield FM

Sept 2016 Press Release 2

August 2016 Call to Public Consultation

June 2016 Press Release 1

What you can do

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Village Concerns will seek to take advantage of the knowledge and views of local residents and other stakeholders to try and ensure any development is delivered in a most advantageous way for the villages. .

What emerges as WDC’s( Wealden District Council ) current preferred option is 190 houses for East Hoathly (50% growth) and 30 houses for Halland (23% growth). But beware: right now, Land owners have an opportunity to offer land for development by themselves or to sell on to developers. Vast profits are involved.

Wealden does not yet have a local plan or a 5year land supply so it would be difficult for Wealden to turn down a Planning Application at this stage. The numbers for new houses may grow.

Attached are sites offered in East Hoathly and Halland (coloured in green). They are currently being assessed by WDC and may or not be accepted for development.

What can you do now?

1) If you want to be more proactive in the group E mail villageconcern2016@gmail.com

2) Keep informed and be aware of alternative views. Here is a response on the WLP from CPRE:


Also Attached is the Power Point presentation given by the CPRE

3): Make your opinions known on this unprecedented. over-development to key players in Parish Council, WDC, Government. Note Parish Council are only consultees, not policy makers. This is top down Policy.

See attached useful contacts

4) Log any existing problems with infrastructure. Schools, Doctors, Utilities, Traffic in the villages (Take photos), commuting traffic.

5) Note any wildlife issues

6) Tell other people what is happening. A lot of people are still unaware.

7) Follow the discussions of the Wealden  Local Plan sub committee .


8) Sign the petition “Save East Hoathly from Over Development”


Thank you!


Nus Ghani,MP, questioned on radio Uckfield

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

The Question:


Wealden District Council has no 5 year land supply plan and no finalised Local Plan (unlike neighbouring authorities). Until these plans are submitted to Government, Developers have free rein to grab land in Wealden villages for house building. How did WDC get into this mess!

Our beautiful Wealden villages are being destroyed for commercial exploitation!
Has Nus Ghani made representation yet to Sajid Javid to limit the ransacking of our countryside?
The email was used in the interview with Nus Ghani (was broadcast at about 10.40am on Fri 2nd Sept)). She didn’t answer the questions but the interviewer did put all the points to her over a period of about 7 minutes: she just talked about village schools being under used and local businesses finding it hard to find staff; she made no comment about WDC.
She did concede that she had not discussed Wealden planning issues with the Secretary of State for Communities (Sajid Javid). She said that a group of MPs in the South were meeting now to discuss infrastructure problems.