Update on Wealden’s Draft Local Plan

Update on Wealden’s Draft Local Plan

Work is progressing on Wealden District Council’s Draft Local Plan, which will shape the district’s places, plan and manage growth and infrastructure, and guide development in the district in future years.

The government requires councils to have a Local Plan and work has continued following the conclusion of a Direction of Travel consultation with communities, partner organisations and stakeholders on a range of important topics.

A timetable was set out to consult on the Draft Local Plan in spring this year but due to an unforeseen change of circumstances and too much uncertainty in relation to plan-making, the council is revising the Local Plan timetable and the consultation has been pushed back.

The issues include matters around Wealden District Council’s housing requirement and the continued lobbying to the government on housing numbers the authority is obliged to provide, a new National Planning Policy Framework prospectus not yet published and uncertainty surrounding a new Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill – announced in May and proposing a number of key changes to the planning system - which will affect the way Local Plans are produced and their content.

Wealden District Council leader and portfolio holder for Planning, Councillor Ann Newton said, “The Local Plan is an important document and we wanted to progress it as quickly as possible in order to meet the government’s deadline of plan adoption by 2024 - and provide certainty to our communities, partners and developers on the future planning strategy for the district.

“However, there is too much uncertainty currently which would directly affect our Local Plan strategy and the content of our draft plan for us to consult on a Draft Local Plan at this time.

“We need to understand what these changes are and for any updated requirements to be considered as part of our plan-making process and included in our draft Local Plan.

“This understanding will ensure that the plan we consult on is relevant, up-to-date, sound and robust and will not require later amendments to account for any future national changes that we are aware are coming.”