Uckfield town councillors are concerned about the number of housing developments given planning permission but not materialising.
And they are unhappy that infrastructure promised during the planning process fails to materialise.
These are just two of the issues raised in Uckfield Town Council’s feedback to Wealden District Council in a consultation about the direction of travel for a new Local Plan.
Town councillors have commented on issues including climate change, infrastructure, housing, local economy, town/local centres, tourism and culture, natural environment, landscape, heritage and cultural assets, design, health and well-being, and growth options.
There is some overlap in responses and emphasis is constantly placed on the need to develop brownfield sites rather than green land, particularly steering clear of nature reserves and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, damaging wildlife and well-established biodiversity.
Councillors say development should stay within planning boundaries. They cite plans for an electric forecourt on the outskirts of Uckfield, saying approval of such schemes leads to a slippery slope encouraging development in the countryside.
They call for more one, two and three bedroom houses, additional social housing, and an affordable housing quota that is fixed and non-negotiable.
They want more thought given to new retirement homes and flats, including the possibility of retirement villages, and how elderly residents with dementia can be support.
They say the quality of housebuilding can be poor and they want to see Wealden taking action to ensure that houses are built to last for generations.
And they want to see a policy to ensure local needs are met before Wealden’s outside needs or targets.
Town councillors say sustainable development in new building should be the norm, including low carbon building methods.
They say the biggest risk is building houses on the flood plain, and remain worried about a new Mallard Drive development causing flooding into the Framfield Stream and having an impact on properties in Eagle Close, and at the bottom of Fernley Park.
They say mature oaks are being removed to make way for large developments, pointing out these can soak water – “between 50 and 300 gallons per day” – while planting new small trees which are dying in hot summers will not stabilise the ground or help with flooding.
Councillors say public transport is “woeful” and there is a lack of road infrastructure planning.
They say Uckfield is suffering because the by-pass wasn’t built as dual carriageway, adding it is not fit for purpose to manage increasing traffic flows.
They want road infrastructure built before new large developments, saying that otherwise traffic will come to a standstill.
The councillors call for infrastructure, including roads, rail, public transport, education, community and social, utilities, gas, water supply, water waste, electricity, communication, health (medical centres, emergency services), and employment to be considered each time new developments are proposed.
They say people’s essential needs, education, health, shopping, banking, exercise, socialising should be taken into account before planning permission is granted.
They want to ensure larger developments have adequate facilities including post office facilities, food and medical collections.
They are concerned about the new Uckfield College being built without capacity for additional pupils and they say it is not clear what is going to happen about a new primary school included in Ridgewood Place plans.
They say land in Wealden is allocated for commercial use, and then developed for commercial use, and industrial estates within development sites should be built before, or at the start of house building.