• Wealden District Local Plan is Out !

    14,228 Homes for Wealden

    The  Key Numbers are:

     759 Housing Units for Heathfield !

    This comprises: 401 units already approved, 133 units planned and shown in this Plan and 225 units as 'Windfalls'.

    14,228 Housing Units for Wealden District to be delivered between 2013 and 2028. 

    This breaks down as: 5307 already having planning approval, 4012 units for the allocated sites in the plan and 2516 units to come from 'windfalls'.

    This Local Plan has a 15 year period which represents a build rate of approx 950 per year - compared to earlier plans which were over longer periods and required approx 812 units per year.  So there is an increase of about 130 units per year across the District.


    The 'tide' of discussion about the need to protect the Ashdown Forest has subsided with Wealden District Council now claiming that  they don't need to fix the existing harm. and that the additional housing units will not cause additional harm.

    759 Homes for Heathfield !

    In addition to the 401 housing already approved - the Local Plan Housing allocation contains:

    Land south of Burwash Road; (HEA1) for 30 units at The Old Half Moon

    Land south west of Ghyll Road; (HEA2) for 103 units

    Plus: 'Windfalls' of 225 units expected from:  

    Heathfield & Waldron  -  125 from 'Within relevant part of Development Boundary' 

    And a further 100 from:

    Broak Oak Core Area - 50,

     Punnetts Town Core Area 40 and

     10 Within relevant part of Development Boundary.

    Plus for the High Street there is planned 290 sqm of net comparison floorspace subject to requirement.

    The 5 Year Housing Land Supply Issue

    With the 5 Year Housing Land Supply standing at 2.18 years (TBC) which is possibly the lowest ever - this will be a key factor in WDC Officer's advice regarding planning applications and a key consideration for WDC PLanning Committees North and South. 

    The lack of 5YHLS is therefore hugely important - because Wealden District Council declared their failure to assemble a 5YHLS back in 2016 as being the major reason for their approving the 'feeding frenzy' of planning applications in the Heathfield High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

    See Downloads below to read: Local Plan Extract for Heathfield  which includes the Development Boundary Map, the latest SHELAA Map and the associated commentary document.

    NEW!  Wealden District Council Infrastructure Plan (extract for Heathfield)  August 2018, and  Wealden Local Plan Consultation  Representation Form.

    WDC Local Plan Impacts to Heathfield

    Main Points of Issue

    1) Strong Protection for The High Weald - the wording in the plan and SHELAA is weak and ambiguous

    2) Vines Corner field and Marklye Lane should be protected from development

    3)  Housing Development should be restricted  to within the Heathfield Dev't Boundary - for the duration of the plan

    4) Moratorium on development - until all approvals are built out - to assess impact on infrastructure

    5) Investment needed - in Heathfield residents' health and well-being

    6) Developer incentives needed - to build more small and starter homes

    7) Wealden Towns & Villages should be required and facilitated to have Neighbourhood Plans unless the residents do not want one 

    Further Issues & Solutions

    7) No Neighbourhood Plan for Heathfield - residents have no inputs into housing numbers or locations or Local Green Space

    8) WDC to take over the unused Police Station for use by Community 

    9) Community to make additional use of the Youth Club as Community Space

    10) ESCC to explain how the money from the Police Station site will be used  for additional public Transport for Heathfield

    11) Heathfield Town Forum - comprising: All District Councillors, H&W PC Chair, H&W Planning Chair, Residents from each Ward 

    Your Views & Comments on the WDC Plan are Important !

    We have put together a list of what we believe are Key Impacts to Heathfield if the plan remains as it is - and is executed.

    Initially we were led to believe that the public consultation period started when the Local Plan was issued on or about 29th June 2018. 

    We are now informed that there will be a formal process for the Public to give Comments to WDC about the Plan. The Public Consultation period will be from:

    13th AUGUST to 8th SEPTMBER 

    When we are advised of the procedure for the Public to use to make Comments on the Local Plan we will post it on this website. 

    See Downloads below to read: The list of Major Issues, the supporting information is in draft but is there for you to gain understanding of things that are likely to cause you concern. 

    Heathfield Dev't Boundary

    New Boundary Shown in Pink


    The extracts from the plan below are still included - however there are worrying implications for Heathfield in the form of the many qualifying and mitigating statements scattered throughout the plan which do not rule out housing development outside the Development Boundary and inside the AONB surrounding Heathfield.

    The (new) development boundary generally follows the line of existing development on the northern edge of the town.... Further outward encroachment of development into the wooded slope of the AONB would be inappropriate and visually intrusive.  

    Closer to Vines Corner, the boundary excludes land below the ridge and either side of Marklye Lane which is exposed and highly sensitive in the AONB landscape.

    To the east, the development boundary follows the built up edge to the town where it adjoins Heathfield Park. The Council considers that any development beyond Park Road would be detrimental to the character and setting of the Park and should be firmly resisted.

    Heathfield Park is a registered Historic park and garden and a designated SSSI and Ancient Woodland. Any new development will need to consider its proximity to Heathfield Park, taking into account its designations, and its High Weald AONB location.

    Vines Corner & Heathfield Park

    The above extracts from the WDC Plan cannot be relied upon to protect either the Vines Corner fields or Heathfield Park from development applications.  

    The respective owners can put in Planning Applications at any time.

    Please see ACV Page for more information. 

    See & Read For Yourself

    See Downloads below to read: Local Plan Extract for Heathfield  which includes the Development Boundary Map, the latest SHELAA Map and the associated commentary document. 

    Wealden District Local Plan

    2018 WDC Local Plan Process

    The WDC Submission Draft Local Plan was issued on 28th June 2018. There will be meeting on 6th July at which District Councillors can ask questions and learn more about the plan. 

    The 2018  Wealden District Local Plan which includes the SHELAA Map and the Commentary will be submitted to the Wealden Full District Council on 18th July for their approval.

    We are told that it is a consultation document and so Heathfield Residents will be able to comment on the plan- and that it is essential that we do so. 

     see Downloads at the end of these pages. 

    The Timetable

     On 18th July the Submission Draft Local Plan will be ratified by the Full Wealden District Council Committee.  

    The WDC  approved version is then provided to the Government  Inspector who will formally approve the plan after a 8 weeks public consultation process.

    We have now been advised that the public consultation will be 8 weeks and will be from:

    13th AUGUST to 8th September

    It is vital that everyone in Heathfield write or emails their Comments and Views on the WDC Local Plan.

    There will be a formal procedure for members of the public to give their feedback and comments.

    When we are  advised of this - we will publish it here.

    Major Issues

    We have made a list of what we think are the major issues for Heathfield and we suggest that these may help you put together your own views and comments.

    Please see Downloads below to read our findings and concerns... and the 12 points of greatest concern in the WDC Local Plan...