Heathfield & Waldron Neighbourhood Plan Request REFUSED !

Proposal to Heathfield & Waldron Parish Council

On 10th March 2020 at 19:30 in the Community Centre in Sheepsetting Lane, Heathfield I asked H&W Parish Council to agree to create a Neighbourhood Plan for Heathfield and Waldron. 

I am sorry to have to tell you that the Council voted against the proposal and their main reasons were that it would too expensive and cost upwards of £50,000, that it could take from 3 to 5 years to complete and they don't have the time, skills and knowledge to do the work.

It is particularly disappointing that the Council would not even allow an exploratory meeting to be held with Councillors and residents. 

Equally as disappointing is that the process for the meeting is that members of the public are only allowed 3 minutes each to speak ... after which the public cannot say any more or have any discussion or dialogue with the Councillors.

Councillors can and do speak for many minutes at a time. Thus the arguements against the plan were pursued lengthily with repetition but the rules of how the meeting was conducted meant that I was not allowed to say anything further or to counter what was being said.

As you can imagine there is a more information that I need to share with you and I hope that you will bear with me over the weekend while I gather my thoughts and set things out for you to consider.

I think that the case we made was a strong one and was supported by housing figures taken from the WDC Local Plan (withdrawn) and the WDC Issues, Options and Recommendations document. 

Had I been allowed to have an open discussion with the Councillors then I believe that I could have persuaded them to agree to hold an initial meeting with Heathfield residents who are key supporters of the AONB which surrounds Heathfield.  

There is more information to come on this so please allow me a little time to update the website which I hope to have fully up to date again after the weekend. 

I do not believe that the Council's decision has to be 'the end of the matter'.... A Neighbourhood Plan is your democratic right as set out in the Localism Act 2011. 

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Bushnell, Secretary to the StopVinesCorner Group and Green Open Spaces for Heathfield.



You Can Still Vote !

54 People Voted In Favour of a Neighbourhood Plan for Heathfield & Waldron ... the Poll is Open


We sent out nearly 250 letters to Residents asking if they would support a Neighhbourhood Plan .... We have received nearly 30 replies to date which is a very high response level.

Please scroll down to read the Messages of Support.

Messages of Support


All messages are attributed anonymously to respect privacy

R B from Heathfield & Waldron

'You can count on my support re your proposal for a Neighbourhood plan for Heathfield and Waldron' ... 

A P from Heathfield & Waldron

' I  fully support the Neighbourhood Plan for Heathfield and Waldron in  order to ensure that local people have a say in local development'...

E S from Heathfield & Waldron

 'I  am writing to express support for the Heathfield & Waldron  Neighbourhood Plan, this needs to be prepared urgently so that residents  have a say in changes to our community'...

J W from Heathfield & Waldron

 'I support A Neighbourhood Plan to help secure sensible growth that meets the needs of the community and protects our AONBs.
It  is concerning that new houses are appearing continually yet the  infrastructure does not support such as expansive growth. There are  already existing developments with unsold plots that suggest the growth  is outstripping the need - and threatening the countryside that is the  main attraction for the residents' ... JW from Heathfield

W from Heathfield & Waldron

 'Yes I give my support for Heathfield and Waldron Neighbourhood plan, We don't need any more properties  build  there are enough  being built  at present.  Are all the new homes sold by the police station.... Then there is heatherlands, and more being built around Burwash Road areas. With schools doctors and parking in the High street at a premium the infrastructure  just isn't  there' ...

C D S from Heathfield & Waldron

'We  feel it is vitally important that there is a Heathfield & Waldron  Neighbourhood Plan so that this AONB is preserved to the highest degree  for the pleasant living of all the residents both present and future.   We understand that we need houses but this should come under a well  thought out plan for the benefit of all including future generations to  enjoy.  It must also contain careful plans for the needs of families  with schooling, transport and doctors surgeries.
Thank you for the work you are doing to try and protect our area for all times'...

R T C from Heathfield & Waldron

 'We ... fully support a Neighbourhood plan to be put  into place, we are extremely concerned as to the future of our  ‘greenfield’ sites and the amount of new ‘developments’ in the  ‘pipeline’ earmarked for Broad Oak and the rest of Heathfield.
We are  also very concerned ,that Heathfield has not got the ‘infrastructure’  in place to cope with all the new housing that is proposed' ...

C F from Heathfield & Waldron

 'Further  to your letter dated 24 February 2020, I would like to express my  support of the setting up of a local Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish  of Heathfield and Waldron, which includes Broad Oak and parts of  Punnetts Town, as a matter of urgency. ' ...

J P P from Heathfield & Waldron

 'We  are extremely concerned about the inappropriate planning applications  submitted by developers to suburbanise our agricultural and pasture  land, which lies within the AONB in Broad Oak and surrounding areas.  It  is imperative that we have a local plan to address these concerns and  maintain the rural heritage of our local environment.' ...

C R B from Rother

 'I definitely support a Heathfield and Waldron Neighbourhood Plan -  although whether I qualify to give support I don’t know as I live ... just over the border into Rother. ' ...

R T from Heathfield & Waldron

 'We do not know why  WDC have withdrawn the Local Plan, with an  inevitable consequence of giving developers a field day in implementing   unsuitable developments without restraint.

We heartily  support the request for a Heathfield and Waldron Neighbourhood Plan  proposed in your letter of 24th February 2020 and hope support from  residents will be overwhelming.' ...

More Messages of Support


B Q from Heathfield & Waldron

'I support your call for a Neighbourhood Plan'... 

D C H from Heathfield & Waldron

'This is to confirm that we fully support the request for a Heathfield & Waldron Neighbourhood Plan.

In  view of the recent withdrawal of the WDC plan, we consider that a new  Neighbourhood Plan should be started immediately and would request that  our Parish Councillors deal with this as a matter of urgency' ...

C P from Heathfield & Waldron

'In  view of the fact that the Wealden Full Council has recently voted to  agree to the recommendation to withdraw the draft Local Plan (2019)  I fully support you lobbying the Heathfield & Waldron Planning Committee about the  need for a Neighbourhood Plan (as set out in the Localism  Acy 2011) for Heathfield and Waldron' ... 

D W from Heathfield & Waldron

' Although I had heard of the rejection of the Local Plan, I had no       idea of the serious repercussions which this brings. Clearly       action is required! ' ...

B H G from Heathfield & Waldron

'Both my wife and I fully support your campaign.
The  overall infrastructure currently within Heathfield is totally  inadequate for the current population and to keep adding more people  will exacerbate the problem even more. The nearest train stations are at  Stonegate, Etchingham or Wadhurst so if you need to catch a train you  need to be able to drive.
The Doctors Surgery in Heathfield is  working at high capacity and people are unable to book appointments if  they need them quickly, as with nearly all NHS locations they are  overstretched.
There is very little Leisure facilities in Heathfield.
We had a Police Station with a Police Officer & PCSO’s but due to funding cuts they have been cut.
I  would also suggest the status of utility supplies would be brought into  question with local facilities already struggling to maintain supply.
I hope this is of use to your campaign' ...

B D from Heathfield & Waldron

'I  strongly agree that the Parish Council should make a Neighbourhood Plan  for the Parish including Broad Oak to protect the area from  unsympathetic developments, keeping its green and outstanding beauty  intact. Also a valid 5 year Housing Land Supply should be assembled in  the near future as an extra safe measure' ... 

L E from Heathfield & Waldron

'Of course I am happy to support your efforts via a vis the.Neighbourhood  plan for Heathfield and Waldron.  Please add my name.  I hope to get to the meeting on 10 March.' ... 

S G from Heathfield & Waldron

'I hereby support the request for a Heathfield and Waldron  Neighbourhood Plan in view of the loss of the Local Plan and the District  Council’s continued failure to assemble a valid 5 year Housing Land Supply  opening the door to unchecked housing development across Wealden, which is  unsupported by the appropriate infrastructure and invading our green  belt.' ... 

J D from Heathfield & Waldron

'Thanks for your letter. Strongly agree. We have to protect the AONB' ... 

S J from Heathfield & Waldron

'I regret I cannot attend the meeting on 10th March but please note I support your move for a Neighbourhood Plan.  Thank you for your efforts' ... 

S A B from Heathfield & Waldron

'Both  my husband and myself support the proposal for Heathfield and Waldron  Neighbourhool Plan.  We agree it is essential to keep our lovely  countryside from being ruined by random building projects.  Our areas of  Natural Beauty need to be retained as much as possible and trees and  vegetation need to be left to support the ever growing warming our  planet.

Our  roads as In Horam, the High Street, Hailsham Road to mention just a  few, are bottle necks and we will soon become like West Sussex with  overflowing traffic. 

We would have liked to attend the meeting on the 10th March but are ... unable to attend.  I hope this email will show our wholehearted  support for a Neighourhood Plan for Heathfield and Waldron' ... 

J G M from Heathfield & Waldron

' We thought as relatively new residents ... we  would email to offer our support for a Neighbourhood Plan for Heathfield  and Waldron to be implemented as a matter of urgency.

Having been passed information by our neighbour we were very sad to see that there are many proposed house  building projects in the pipeline. We moved ...  to escape the plague of house building and increased  traffic in Surrey and to hopefully have a more peaceful semi  retirement in what we saw as a rural setting.

We were aware when we purchased our property that a  previous planning application to build ... had been  fought with some degree of success and were certainly not expecting that  there would be further attempts to build more, what  we believe will be executive homes .... 

We feel that a Neighbourhood Plan is the way forward for  local residents to have some say over proposed developments/type of  housing to be provided and all the issues that surround an increase in  the local population, inevitable increased traffic  and strain on local services' ... 

Yet More Messages of Support


F G from Heathfield & Waldron

' Yes I support the plan' ...

E P from Heathfield & Waldron

'Just a  quick note of support ... We are completely behind you  regarding the need for a neighbourhood plan for Heathfield and Waldron  Parish and we intend to be at the parish council meeting on the 10th  March' ...

C J from Heathfield & Waldron

'I wholeheartedly give my support to the development of a Neighbourhood  Plan by the parish council. The process of formulating the plan and the  plan itself are essential to ensuring the voices of local people are  heard on what is a highly contentious matter. To reject the the  development of a Neighbourhood Plan at this time would be an abrogation  of  responsibility.
I urge the Parish Council to commission a plan as soon as possible' ... .

K G from Heathfield & Waldron

'I  totally support your request for a Heathfield & Waldron  Neighbourhood Plan.  I may be there to support you on 10th' ... 

S J D from Heathfield & Waldron

'Thank you very much for the information that you put through today.
We  have Supported the Neighbourhood Plan on the Facebook page' ... 

C T from Heathfield & Waldron

'I  am extremely concerned about the recent removal of the Wealden plan and  think many of our greenfield land will now be up for grabs and will  affect our local area. There is not the capacity in terms of road  capacity (roads are traffic logged and in extremely poor state) air  quality (more homes equals more pollution) and just generally  irrevocably changing the face of our beautiful county. Wealden are being  asked to take the extra housing need for Eastbourne but why can't  brownfield sites for lower cost housing be explored in Eastbourne (TJ  Hughes and Denham could easily be converted into small affordable  housing). I am concerned this is motivated by greed and badly thought  out policies.  Heathfield does not need more housing' ...

and More Messages


E C from Heathfield & Waldron

'I ... support the request made for the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan to be  commenced straight away, to take advantage of the period during which a  new Wealden Local Plan is having to produced and then taken through the consultation &  examination stages ...

This is an opportunity for the Parish .... to set out in its own words what  opportunities it wants to be taken, what existing features it wants to  see protected or perhaps enhanced, and if changes are determined to be needed, give some indication of locations, form,  scale etc that are preferred. This is surely preferable to the present  situation of sitting waiting for proposals to be advanced out of the  blue by others (usually from outside this Parish) in the form of planning applications, local plans etc, over which the  Parish has had little or no prior involvement' ...

D M W from Heathfield & Waldron

'We support your idea to get H&W PC to make a Neighbourhood Plan for our Parish of Heahfield & Waldron'... 

... from Heathfield & Waldron

I can put your message of support here ...

... from Heathfield & Waldron

 I can put your message of support here ...  

... from Heathfield & Waldron

 I can put your message of support here ...   

... from Heathfield & Waldron

  I can put your message of support here ...  

Neighbourhood Plan for Heathfield & Waldron

Send me your Message of Support for a Neighbourhood Plan !

Come and Chat !

We are happy to tell you more about StopVinesCorner and the housing planning issues in Heathfield, Cross In Hand and Broad Oak. 

Please telephone so we can arrange a convenient time. 


Little Marklye, Marklye Lane, HEATHFIELD, East Sussex TN21 8QB, GB

01435 862412

Contact Your Councillors


Wealden District Councillors

Leader of Wealden District Council, Councillor Bob Standley, Berriedale, Mayfield Lane, Wadhurst. East Sussex TN5 6JE Telephone 01892 783579 

Email: cllr.bob.standley@wealden.gov.uk 

Wealden District Councillor  for Heathfield South: 

Cllr Roger Thomas, Glaisdale, Ghyll Road, Heathfield. East Sussex. TN21 OAG Telephone: 01435 868229  

Email: roger-thomas@outlook.com 

Wealden District Councillor for Heathfield North:

Cllr Dick Angel, Firlands House. Mutton Hall Hill. Heathfield. East Sussex TN21 8NL. Telephone: 01435 864977 

Email: cllr.dick.angel@wealden.gov.uk

Wealden District Councillor for Framfield & Cross-in-Hand:

Cllr Ann Newton,  Highlands, Framfield Road,  Blackboys. East Sussex  TN22 5LR

Telephone:  01825 890103         
Email: cllr.ann.newton@wealden.gov.uk    

Wealden District Council Executives & Planning

Trevor Scott Wealden District Council Chief Executive   Telephone 01323 443322 

Email: chiefexec@wealden.gov.uk 

Isabel Garden Wealden District Council Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Planning, Policy & Environmental Services   Telephone 01323 443322 

Email: exec@wealden.gov.uk 

Stacey Robbins - Wealden District Council Head of Planning & Building Control

Chris Bending - Wealden District Council Head of Policy & Economic Development 

Wealden District Council, Vicarage Lane Hailsham. BN27 2AX  Telephone 01323 443322  

Your MPs, County and Parish Councillors

 Huw Merriman MP, 29-31 Sea Rd, Bexhill-on-Sea TN40 1EE Telephone 01424 736861 SW1A 0AA   

Email: huw.merriman.mp@parliament.uk

Nusrat Ghani MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA Tel:  020 7219 4619  

Email: nusrat.ghani.mp@parliament.uk

Councillor Rupert Simmons, Beacon View Cottage Waldron Heathfield TN21 0QU. Phone: 01435 813481.

Email: cllr.rupert.simmons@eastsussex.gov.uk  

Chair of Heathfield & Waldron Parish Council, Councillor Andy Woolley, 1 Hawthorne Close, Heathfield. East Sussex. TN21 8HP Telephone: 01435 860655 

Email: woolla007@gmail.com

Chair of Heathfield & Waldron Parish Planning Committee, Councillor Patrick Coffey, 8 Cherwell Road, Heathfield. East Sussex. TN21 8JT Telephone: 01435 866244 

Email: cllr.patrickcoffey@hwpc.org.uk