East Hoathly Village Concerns Blog

lots of acronyms – please see categories: Abbreviations

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

Draft Local Plan is revised 14th March 2017

The changes announced in the Planning Committee meetings held on 13th March are reflected in this revised document that goes before a full Council meeting on Wed, 22nd March 10 am for a vote of acceptance. The great news for East Hoathly is that the housing allocation changes from 230 to zero and the new development boundary is re-drawn to exclude previously targeted sites (e.g. Hesmonds, Buttsfield Lane and Broomy Lodge).

But – the backdoor for more housing might be contained in the ominous word ‘windfall’ (see  “24.276 Although development has not been allocated in East Hoathly, any future windfall development may need to…..”).

Nor have any of the previously identified East Hoathly errors been incorporated.

Important dates:

March 22nd –  full Council consultation on Draft Local Plan, 10 am Hailsham: please attend if possible to show public concern.

March 22nd / 23rd – Officer’s reports for Hesmonds, Buttsfield: we still don’t know whether these planning applications will be heard and then go to appeal; even though the message from WDC is no more development that will create an increase in traffic through the Ashdown Forest – until compensatory measures are found (whatever that means).

March 30th – hearing for Hesmonds, Buttsfield: if these applications are heard then we will really must turn out in numbers to demonstrate our very strong objection.

Monday 13 March Meetings at WDC on Draft Local Plan

see morning session: Local Plan Subcommittee Meeting

        – go to section 5 and move video cursor along to 2h 43min to hear great news for East Hoathly: allocation is reduced from 230 to 0 (yes, zero) and the new development boundary will be moved (we are seeking further clarification on this). This is thanks to the Ashdown Forest albeit rather worrying that nitrogen deposition per hectare per year is already measured to be 100 times too much (see report)!

see afternoon session: Joint Planning Committee Meeting

Tory revolt as house building drive risks impacting Forest that inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

Telegraph 4th March 2017

Times 6th March 2017

 

Draft Local Plan is released 3rd March 2017

Here is the long awaited draft plan.

Here is a sample of Wealden District Council’s accuracy of assessment for our village:

“21.3 There is a regular daily bus service providing access to Uckfield, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, Polegate, Hailsham and Eastbourne which operates Monday to Saturday. Uckfield train station provides regular and direct trains to Haywards Heath, London and Tunbridge Wells.”

Wealden’s forthcoming  draft local plan “events” are:

Monday 13 March am: Local Plan Subcommittee meeting
Monday 13 March pm: Joint Planning Committee meeting
Wednesday 22 March: Full Council meeting
Unknown Release of the evidence studies e.g. SHMA, SHELAA, Transport Plan, Sustainability Analysis, etc.etc.
Monday 8 May: Consultation start.
Monday 19 June: Consultation finish.

The proposed consultation period is the six-week statutory minimum.

The SWOT (SAVE WEALDEN FROM OVERDEVELOPMENT TEAM) analysis will be posted in the near future.

High Court vindication for planning committee decision – Council – Wealden District Council

http://www.wealden.gov.uk/Wealden/Council/News_and_Events/News/News_013planningcommitteedecision.aspx

Councillors lament lack of localism in planning system (thank you David Connoley)

lament

Councillors have lamented the lack of local democracy in house planning, with a majority warning that the system leans too far in the favour of housing developers at the cost of local communities, a survey has revealed.

A survey of over 1,200 ward councillors in England carried out by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), and commissioned by the conservation charity the National Trust, has revealed that councillors believe the current planning system does not consider the wishes of councils and communities as much as it should.

Councillors have warned against the current system with over half of those surveyed advising that planning departments are not adequately resourced and that sites are being improved for new housing despite not being in line with the local plan, including sites on green belt land.

“The planning system is one of the fundamental pillars of local democracy, allowing communities to help shape the physical structure of the places they live,” said Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the LGiU.

“Councillors are the most important link between communities and that system. Our survey with the National Trust shows that many councillors feel that this democratic tool is at risk of being undermined.”

The survey revealed ongoing councillor reservations about the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), with only 18% of councillors feeling that design has improved since it was introduced. The NPPF was criticised by the CLG Select Committee as long ago as 2014 for failing to protect against unsustainable development and was earmarked for a comprehensive overview in April last year.

Particularly, councillors have raised concerns about the loosening of the planning system permitted by the NPPF such as the introduction of permitted development rights for home extensions, office to residential use conversions and other changes of use. Approximately 60% of councillors believe that due to the framework, green belt land is at risk of being allocated for housing by their councils within the next five years.

The results of the survey come as the government prepares to announce its housing white paper in response to the growing problems in ensuring a sufficient number of homes nationwide, particularly affordable homes.

Ingrid Samuel, historic environment director at the National Trust, declared it “worrying” that councillors feel that the NPPF hasn’t delivered the localism that was promised despite almost five years having passed since its introduction.

“If ministers are serious about local plans being at the heart of the planning system, then they should invest in council planning teams and use the Housing White Paper to give them the tools to deliver good quality housing in the right places,” Samuel said.

The LGiU and the National Trust expressed hopes that the government will use the paper to improve council confidence in the planning system, instead of setting rigid housing numbers which do not consider local factors such as areas of outstanding national beauty.

Their suggestions for steps the government could take included more resources for local planning authorities, stronger government backing for councils setting design standards, and an increased ability for councils to recognise local constraints and focus development appropriately.