Wealden District Council accused of a NIMBY attitude, as Local Plan is rejected by the Planning Inspector

6th January

Louise Nurser, BA Hons Dip UP MRTPI, Planning Inspector has written to Wealden District Council, to outline the reasons why the council cannot proceed with its current draft Wealden Local Plan.

The letter asserts that Wealden Council has failed in a legal ‘Duty to Cooperate’ through constructive engagement with neighbouring authorities. Highlighted in particular were the unmet housing needs of the adjacent Eastbourne community.

Strong words from the Louise Nurser, Planning Inspector containined in her letter to WDC dated 20.12.2019

“Throughout the Local Plan process, we have always tried to find the right balance between the need for growth in housing and employment land, and the need to protect our unique environment,” Councillor Bob Standley, Leader of Wealden District Council defended the council’s approach.

He went on to say: “Regrettably, this will inevitably have impacts on our communities. We acknowledge that there is already significant pressure on infrastructure; such as roads, doctors, dentists, schools and sports facilities. A requirement to build more homes will only have a greater impact on those facilities, which will require further investment.” 

The council is now recommending withdrawing the Local Plan and starting afresh, they will continue to do what they can, to ensure that extra growth is accommodated in a way that is sensitive to the needs of existing residents. They intend to strive for sustainable growth that provides infrastructure for communities and is consistent with their commitment to become a carbon-neutral District.

This will leave Wealden residents with many questions over the potential ramping up of future expansion of the building of new homes in the area.

A full copy of the Planning Inspector’s findings of the draft Wealden Local Plan can be found on the Local Plan Examination pages of the Wealden website: http://www.wealden.gov.uk/Wealden/Residents/Planning_and_Building_Control/Planning_Policy/Wealden_Local_Plan/Wealden_Local_Plan_Examination.aspx