A planning inspector has proposed that an additional 30 homes are built in Ridgewood on top of 1,000 already allocated in the Wealden core development strategy.
A press release from the council says a recommendation to council today (Wednesday, May 27), is to withdraw its Strategic Sites Local Plan, which led to the planning inspector’s intervention, and instead press ahead with an ongoing 2015 Review of the Local Plan.
It is argued in a report to the council that the Core Strategy is Wealden’s Local Plan and that modifying the Strategic Sites Local Plan, as proposed by the inspector, would delay the production of the local plan because of lengthy assessment work and potential legal challenges.
The inspector has made recommendations that would affect Uckfield, Hailsham and Crowborough.
Uckfield would be impacted by a proposal to reduce the developable area on land at Pine Grove, Crowborough, and relocate an allocation of 30 proposed home from that site onto land at Thorncrest, off Lewes Road, Ridgewood.
Thorncrest is next to land allocated for 1,000 dwellings.
Cllr Bob Standley, leader of Wealden District Council says in a press release: “The Core Strategy is Wealden’s Local Plan. We followed extensive evidence gathering and consultation processes to develop and agree it.
“Making arbitrary changes, as proposed by the inspector, is not appropriate or justified and in any case would require extensive infrastructure, environmental and habitats assessments.
“We are committed to carrying out the 2015 review of the Local Plan and need to concentrate our resources on this as the best way of maintaining current economic growth while safeguarding our countryside from haphazard development.”
The Wealden Local Plan, which was approved in 2013, identified the broad location for some 4,070 new homes with associated employment land and infrastructure to be built through to 2027.
Much of the work undertaken in developing the Strategic Sites Plan – which the council is set to abandon – will be carried over into the ongoing 2015 review of the Local Plan, says the council press release.
The full report to today’s meeting of Wealden Council can be found here.