‘Beauty betrayed’ report highlights housing pressure in High Weald AONB

15th November 2017

The High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has the second highest level of pressure for housing development among all of England’s AONBs.

An independent review of housing in England’s AONBs 2012-2017 prepared for CPRE and the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty recorded 58 housing schemes approved in the High Weald AONB between 2012 and 2017. Each scheme involved more than 10 dwellings and there were 2723 dwellings in total in the schemes.

Local Planning Authorities approved a further 33 housing schemes totalling 2258 new dwellings within 500 metres of the High Weald AONB between 2012 and 2017.

The High Weald AONB also saw the largest rise in new dwelling completions from an average of 186 a year before 2012 to 895 a year from 2015 to 2017.

Housing pressure on AONBs, as seen in the number of applications, approvals and number of dwellings is most keenly felt in South East and South West regions of England, with eight AONBs (including the High Weald) accounting for 79% of all housing units approved within AONBs.

Across the country the research found a growing number of planning applications for housing within AONB designated areas, as well as in the setting of AONBs between 2012 and 2017. It also found a growing number of approvals for housing schemes on sites of all sizes, with a step change upwards in approval for dwellings over the two years since 2015.

The case studies for the research included Pease Pottage, adjacent to Crawley in Mid Sussex District and wholly within the High Weald AONB.

You can read An-independent-review-of-housing-in-Englands-AONBs-2012-17 and find the Sussex (Pease Pottage) case study on pages 52-53.