You can now view the responses to Conservative-led Wealden District's Local Plan Direction of Travel consultation, and a summary of the consultation’s findings, on the council's own website.
“The Direction of Travel consultation was a major engagement exercise to help define the priorities for development and conservation in Wealden for the next 15 -20 years,” said Conservative councillor Ann Newton, Cabinet member for Planning & Development.
“We received over 1,700 responses from 304 individuals and organisations letting us know what they felt was important for our District. We are continuing the engagement with our Members, parish and town councils and neighbouring local authorities as we decide the next steps. We are also gathering information and evidence to inform the next stage. The next Local Plan consultation will be on a draft Local Plan, scheduled to take place in spring 2021.”
Key topics raised in the consultation were:
- climate change.
- ensuring the delivery of infrastructure.
- housing and affordable housing.
- the need to protect and enhance our natural environment.
Responses to the climate change sections highlighted the need for:
- electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
- better public transport.
- a reduction in commuting.
- the protection of floodplains.
Some 82% of replies in the section felt the Council was proposing the right policy options.
Those taking part also stressed that new roads, schools and health facilities should be in place before new development was completed. Many felt that the Government was adopting the wrong approach to calculating local housing need. More should be done to encourage the prompt completion of developments once planning approval is granted.
Other issues covered in the consultation were supporting local businesses, town centres, tourism, good design and meeting people’s health and well-being needs.
A summary of the findings can be found on the Local Plan Direction of Travel consultation page of the Wealden website.
"As we progress our local plan, we want to continue to hear from our residents, businesses and other interested parties. To take part in the next Local Plan consultation, please sign up to our consultation portal database. It can be accessed via our Local Plan webpage. We want to engage with as many people and organisations as possible as part of the Local Plan process. This is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The timetable is set out in our Local Development Scheme", added Cllr Newton.