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Wealden District Update May 2024

3rd May 2024

We are currently in a consultation period for the new Wealden District Local Plan. The consultation ends at 17:00 on Friday 10 May 2024.

Due to the volume and complexity of information included in this consultation, we have asked the Leader of the Council, Cllr James Partridge, to consider a month’s extension to the consultation period to give residents time to review and consider the relevant documents. Our request has been acknowledged and we await a reply.

See: Email Wealden Local Plan Reg 18 extension

CPRE Sussex will be submitting a response to the consultation but we are aware of the huge amount of local knowledge available within our membership and supporters.  We would be very pleased if this could be put to good use and encourage you all to submit comments to Wealden District Council.

Our planning volunteer is working incredibly hard on the CPRE Sussex response but at the same time proposes a way for us to examine and potentially challenge any site allocation by critiquing the sustainability appraisal.  People with local knowledge are best placed to check an allocated site’s sustainability appraisal findings.

Guidance Notes on how do this with a worked example can be downloaded below.

Challenging an allocation


General  Information:

The plan is proposing a total of 15,729 new houses until March 2040, which works out at an average of 953/year. Although this number is below that given by the government’s standard method formular of 1,200/year, we are concerned that the 953 could well increase.

The 15,729 houses is made up from 8,113 already granted permission, 2,000 on windfall sites i.e. small sites that are currently unknown, and 5,616 on 101 sites identified in the draft plan and called allocation sites.  It is these 101 sites that we feel should be challenged.

Wealden District Council has published a massive amount of information with the plan, which can be found on their local plan page at:

On this local plan page can be found:

  • a video explaining the new draft plan
  • a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • a video explaining how to use the consultation portal
  • a link to the virtual exhibition page
  • links to:
    • the local plan documents, with the plan itself heading the list
    • the local plan evidence base
    • call for sites page (of interest to landowners and site promoters)
    • the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Appraisal (SHELAA)
    • the Sustainability Appraisal
    • the results from the Direction of Travel consultation held November 2020 – January 2021


Critiquing a Site Allocation:

The draft plan contains 85 sets of questions and the one we feel will possibly get the greatest attention is question 85(b) which asks for feedback on any of the 101 sites currently identified as an allocation site.

These sites vary from just five houses to 750 houses at Horam and this consultation provides us all with the opportunity to critique the selection.

A list of the 101 proposed allocation sites can be found on pages 373-380 in Chapter 13 of the draft local plan document. Their locations can be seen marked on the Policies Maps for each settlement.

However, the document we suggest that you critique to try and show that the site is less sustainable than shown and thus is not suitable to be considered as an allocation site, is the Full Sustainability Appraisal assessment for the relevant settlement, which can be found at:

Full Sustainability Appraisal Assessments – Wealden District Council – Wealden District Council

We have produced a guidance note (attached) to assist anyone looking to provide feedback to the consultation about any of the proposed allocation sites. It is rather long but we hope that it will provide assistance to compile a response that will be effective in persuading Wealden that the site is less sustainable than is currently considered and thus should not be considered suitable for development.

Challenging an allocation

Each site has been assessed for its effect on each of the 20 Sustainability Objectives and scored between major negative through to major positive. We feel that some of these scores are too optimistic and we hope that your local knowledge can justify a lower score.