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CPRE Sussex at the Wealden Local Plan Examination

25th May 2019

CPRE Sussex is currently attending the public examination of the Wealden Local Plan (May 2019) at the East Sussex National Golf course.

The inspector, Louise Nurser, has expressed concerns about whether the submitted plan can be found sound under the ‘Duty to Cooperate.’ A session exploring the Council’s approach to reducing traffic on the A22 and avoiding harm to the Ashdown Forest from pollution turned into a long technical and legal battle which has yet to be resolved. It looks likely that more hearings will need to be scheduled.

CPRE Sussex, the Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Sussex Ornithological Society and local parish and town councils all spoke up to voice concerns about potential harm to the countryside as a result of the plan. Areas such as the Ashdown Forest contain internationally protected habitats and wildlife so it is vital that the plan is able to avoid harm to these sensitive areas. Wealden district contains landscapes which are designated as ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. Many of the discussions so far have been dominated by expensive barristers and technical specialists representing developers who stand to make considerable profits from allocations of land for development. CPRE Sussex is working objectively on the plan to try and get the best outcome for local people and the natural environment.

Photo © Tom Lee