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Stephen Hardy - CPRE Sussex
Stephen Hardy

Stephen Hardy

Letter, published in the Rye & Battle Observer, 12th October 2018

Friday, 28 September 2018 12:59

Rother & Hastings update

Rother Council planners are trying to respond to the pressures brought about by the Government’s new planning regime (NPPF 2018) by speeding up the process of their Development and Site Allocation Plan (DaSA).

Friday, 19 January 2018 14:33

Letter: We need action, not warm words

Letter to Rye and Battle Observer, from Stephen Hardy, CPRE Sussex Trustee. Published 19 Jan 2018

The Campaign to Protect Rural England is pleased to see at last the Government's commitment to improving the environment shown in the 25-year plan launched last week, but we need actions, not simply warm words to ensure the Government provides the means to ensure we use resources wisely, from plastics to land.

Thursday, 09 November 2017 18:04

Rother & Hastings, Winter 2017 Report

Rother  suffers as a planning authority from a permanent  malaise – that of being always behind the curve.  Yes, it produced a core strategy back in 2014  with  what  is for the  South East a relatively  modest housing requirement, but according to the latest  planning agendas  is  down to  providing only a  3.1  year housing  supply.  I do not really want to blame the Council because it is house builders who are not  building out permissions granted, but the recent reaction to  this  supposed crisis is for Rother planners to recommend granting  any   application  that comes in the  High Weald AONB, no matter that most of the sites  up for approval were categorised  by the self-same Rother officers three years ago in their SHLAA as red (i.e. not suitable for whatever reasons to be developed) sites.   

Letter to: Rye and Battle Observer
From: Stephen Hardy, MBE, Trustee, CPRE Sussex

Poignantly, the BBC last week showed a picture of the cottages at Birling Gap, just down the coast, which are predicted to collapse into the sea within 25 years.

Saturday, 22 August 2015 06:11

Rother & Hastings: updates

Rother DC is one of those relatively rare councils with an up to date Core Strategy. That said, since the Strategy was adopted in September 2014, there has been little activity in producing the Site Allocation Document. We wonder whether local elections in May 2015 played a part in this. To avoid the planning lacuna, now four parishes have been progressing their own Neighbourhood Plan proposals; Rother’s attitude was initially very lukewarm and very few resources are being offered by the Planning Department.

15 April 2015

Bizarrely at exactly the same time last Thursday, there were two very similar decisions being made about planning applications, one in Ticehurst by Rother, and one three miles away in neighbouring Wadhurst by Wealden.  

Thursday, 19 March 2015 14:49

Rother & Hastings: Solar farm applications

Major recent activity has been to object to two solar farm applications. Both are very close to another recently approved by the neighbouring authority, Wealden, at Ninfield. Rother’s are in Catsfield. Because 80% of Rother is in the High Weald AONB, Rother had never had to deal with a solar farm before the first one, at St Francis Farm. Through ignorance perhaps, they approved it, and now the countryside is reaping the consequences. Fortunately the second application 1km away from the Wealden and the St Francis one was rejected, but the applicants have now put in another slightly amended version for Rother to deal with.

Thursday, 19 March 2015 14:47

Rother & Hastings: updates

Major recent activity has been to object to two solar farm applications. Both are very close to another recently approved by the neighbouring authority, Wealden, at Ninfield. Rother’s are in Catsfield. Because 80% of Rother is in the High Weald AONB, Rother had never had to deal with a solar farm before the first one, at St Francis Farm. Through ignorance perhaps, they approved it, and now the countryside is reaping the consequences. Fortunately the second application 1km away from the Wealden and the St Francis one was rejected, but the applicants have now put in another slightly amended version for Rother to deal with.

In Hastings a singular victory was achieved when the Council refused an application for amended plans for an already built blockhouse in the Country Park, overlooking the sea, which is in the High Weald AONB. It took a great amount of courage on the councillors’ part to refuse, given officer’s recommendation and the possible threat of a compensation claim by the applicant.

Northiam, one of the larger villages in Rother with a quota of 142 houses to fill under the new Rother Local Plan, have just received a Persimmon Homes application for 66 houses on greenfield land. Northiam certainly feels hard done by with their 142 figure, as the village has unlike most others seen almost continuous development during the recession.

The Bexhill-Hastings Link Road sank deeper into the winter mud, when construction ground to a halt. No chance of its July 2015 opening date – but more importantly, watch the costs soar!

Friday, 30 May 2014 11:42

Update: May 2014

The current state of play with regard to the Rother Local Plan is that the second public inquiry was held at the end of January, and the Inspector promised then to be able to report in May. 

However since the publication of the NPPF guidance in April, she has said that she needs to consider this and that the timetable will slip. 

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