East Hoathly Village Concerns Blog

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Village Concerns Annual General Meeting Summary

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.

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