Uckfield will be required to take 1,000 new homes, if a planning “blueprint” is adopted.
Wealden District Council says the town and its immediate environment should see “significant” growth.
A report to councillors explains why such house-building is necessary.
“Uckfield has provided through its Masterplan an ambition to regenerate and change.
“Its location, younger demographic and housing land and employment prospects provides opportunities for growth and to meet local and wider housing needs.
“It has a significant function in providing services to a wide rural area, including Heathfield, and strengthening of that role could help social and environmental aspirations of reducing reliance on the private motor vehicle.
“The need to provide for local road network infrastructure also contributes to the need for the provision of significant growth of 1000 dwellings in and around the settlement of Uckfield,” the report states.
The report also looks at where people will find work and notes that land previously allocated for business parks remains undeveloped, including one on the outskirts of Uckfield.
“Both Ashdown Business Park, near Maresfield, and Hackhurst Lane at Lower Dicker are considered viable and both sites now have planning consent, however if delivery has not commenced by 2020 the strategy will need to be re-considered in order to deliver any shortfall,” the report states.
The whole report will be discussed at a meeting of Wealden Council’s Local Development Framework Sub Committee on Tuesday, October 19.
Across the whole district the strategy envisages an average of 400 new houses being built in each year of the plan – 2012 to 2030.
Developers will have to pay a “roof tax” on the new homes they build and this money will be used for new infrastructure.
However, councillors are warned the infrastructure may not come until after the developments are started and may not be complete until they are occupied.
“This is because whilst the signing of S106 agreements (a legal agreement which amounts to a “roof tax”) is necessary prior to the issuing of permission, the agreement itself generally requires monies to be paid over by the developer only once agreed trigger points or timescales are met and this often relates to completion or occupation of a specified number of dwellings.
“In addition, the ability of communities to accept relatively large growth in anything other than a measured way, is an important factor that has been reflected in our consultation responses,” the report notes.
Next week’s meeting is just another step in a long process that is not due to be completed until 2012.
Widespread consultation has already taken place. Now the “blueprint” has to go to other Wealden Council committees and is due to be considered by a meeting of all councillors on December 1.
It is expected that an “Examination in Public” will be held in the summer of next year. This amounts of a public inquiry into the plan.
The final strategy is due for adoption by Wealden Council in March 2012.
You can read the reports on the Wealden District Council website.
Key Diagram – See bottom left, pink area, site favoured for Uckfield’s 1000 homes.
Members of the public can attend the meeting on Tuesday. The agenda does not, however, show any provision for public speaking. It will be held at the council’s offices at Pine Grove, Crowborough.