East Hoathly with Halland has embarked on preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP). This work began in 2017 and was progressing amidst the evolution of the Wealden Local Plan. The Government Planning Inspectorate rejected the Submission Wealden Local Plan in early 2020 and it was formally withdrawn on 19 February 2020. Planning matters within Wealden therefore revert to the previous statutory development plan that consists of the adopted Wealden District Core Strategy Local Plan (February 2013), the saved policies of the adopted Wealden Local Plan (1998) and the Affordable Housing Delivery Local Plan (May 2016).
Neighbourhood Develpment Plans are still valid and we will still be progressing our work. This website charts that progress of the work already done and gives you the opportunity to examine the documents that support our emerging NDP. You are all most welcome to come to our Consultation Events and have your say. You may wish to get involved, visit our public events or just make a comment via this website.
A Neighbourhood Development Plan is a document that sets out planning policies for the neighbourhood area – planning policies are used to decide whether to approve planning applications.
Written by the local community, the people who know and love the area, rather than the Local Planning Authority.
A powerful tool to ensure the community gets the right types of development, in the right place.
If you want to read our latest Draft of the emerging Parish NDP, click here.
We have been working on a Neighbourhood Plan since 2017 and in early 2018 held a series of Consultation Events to get your views. Wealden published their Submission Wealden Local Plan in mid 2018 with a significantly changed package for our Parish. This gave us an allowance of 48 new homes from 2017 to 2028. Permissions had already been granted (as at May 2019) for 27 of these homes leaving a residual allowance of 21 homes until 2028.
The Steering Group submitted a draft to Wealden of our Vision and Objectives in mid 2019 and it was approved. In September 2019 we held further Consultation Events to seek feedback from the community on the work already undertaken. The results of these events can be seen in the section on the Consultation Process. Unfortunately, since Wealden’s Local Plan was rejected in February 2020 we are now faced with an uncertain future.
A new Wealden Local Plan process will commence but that is likely to take 2/3 years to come to fruition. In the interim, we will be subject to the existing planning policies. Within these policies, our Parish has no Development Boundary for East Hoathly or Halland and a zero allocation of housing. However, because Wealden have not met the housing supply targets for many years we will be vulnerable to unplanned speculative develpments until Wealden can achieve the 5 year Land Supply Target. There are several large planning applications for our Parish that have been submitted to Wealden amounting to potentially 350 + homes. Developers are trying to get these approved on the basis that Wealden does not meet its 5 year Land Supply Target.
So, you may well ask, why are we bothering to continue with a Neighbourhood Plan ? The answer is simple. It would provide the following benefits irrespective of the amount of housing that we eventually have to deal with:
Enhanced Protection - many of our treasured assets are already protected by being Listed, part of the Conservation Area or designated as things such as Ancient Woodland. A Neighbourhood Plan provides the opportunity to review these assets and begin the process to enhance these protections. It will enable us to review how we make use of these assets and how they might be improved. It also allows us to identify Green Spaces that will be given significant protection from future development.
Shape the future of our Parish - to have the opportunity to get the right type of development in the right place.
Community Led Housing - a Neighbourhood Plan allows us to support a project for a Community Land Trust that will provide low rent houses for local families that will remain outside the private sector.
More Cash for the Parish - any development that takes place in the Parish provides a cash levy to Wealden to help fund infrastructure projects (mostly outside our Parish). The Parish gets 15% of this cash. With a Neighbourhood Plan in place the Parish would get 25% to help improve Parish infrastructure.
What’s Next ?
Wealden have approved the draft of the first part of our Plan and this can be seen in the Draft NDP section. We are now working on the policy sections of the plan and will publicise these in due course.
The Parish Council set up a Steering Group in January 2017 comprised of several Parish Councillors and other members of the community. The Council specified the Terms of Reference for the Steering Group and sought approval from Wealden that the whole of the Parish should be designated as the area for our NDP. The individuals forming the Steering Group have changed over time and the current membership includes 3 Parish Councillors, 6 members of the Parish and it is chaired by the head of the Parish Council Planning Sub Committee. If you have any expertise relevant to the Steering Group or are just interested in helping in the process, please let us know.
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