Councillors advised against challenging rejection of Local Plan

Wealden councillors are being advised against challenging a planning inspector’s rejection of their Local Plan.

A report going to a meeting of Cabinet next week, Wednesday, February 12, says it would be very difficult to succeed in a challenge and the cost and length of time involved would be considerable.

“It would prolong a period of uncertainty which would impact on the consideration of planning applications.

Uncertainty

“Continued uncertainty about our position would make it difficult to work constructively with our neighbouring authorities and other stakeholders, and prevent us from building on the improved relationships which have recently been acknowledged by local councils who were formerly critical of our approach.”

Councillors are instead advised to withdraw the filed Local Plan and make a new one.

The report says this would allow the council to move on rapidly, especially if it adopted an emissions model for the Ashdown Forest which is favoured by Natural England.

Approach

“Since the neighbouring local authorities also agree with this approach this would make it easier to work together to find solutions and ensure we meet the Duty to Co-operate in the future.

“If we do not adopt ‘Emissions model B’ it is likely that we would fail in any future plan for the same reasons as before.”

*Planning inspector Louise Nurser threw out the council’s Local Plan saying it failed one of the requirements for legal compliance, that of the Duty to Co-operate.

She said there was a lack of “constructive engagement” with neighbouring authorities and Natural England in respect of impacts on habitats and landscape and in respect of an issue of unmet housing need in Eastbourne.

Decision

Read more about the inspector’s decision in another Uckfield News story here: Planning inspector says Wealden Council failed to co-operate with other authorities.

Read more about potential implications of the rejection of the Local Plan:

More housebuilding for Uckfield on the cards after Plan rejection

and

Uckfield businesses call for jobs focus in new Local Plan

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