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Hailsham development

Hailsham development

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A blueprint for the development of Wealden has been approved by the district council.

The Core Strategy document outlines areas where housing, businesses, retail space and recreational facilities can be built in the next 15 years.

As well as ear marking development locations the strategy will safeguard patches of land from developers, said councillors.

The council became the first planning authority in East Sussex to approve its Core Strategy during a full meeting on November 28.

The adoption of the plans paves the way for around 2,650 new homes and associated employment provision to be built in Hailsham, Hellingly, Polegate, Willingdon, Stone Cross and Westham.

Cllr Roy Galley, cabinet member for planning and development said: “This Core Strategy allows for growth to take place in those locations best suited to new schemes and where it is needed to provide housing and facilities for young people, families and our growing number of older people. The aim is to have the right development in the right place.

“An approved Core Strategy is essential to safeguarding the Wealden countryside and protecting us all from unwarranted development.

“The Core Strategy has involved an extensive programme of work by this council, and provides an enviable degree of clarity as to where new housing, businesses, retail space and recreational facilities, will take place.”

He added: “It has been a victory for local peoples’ wishes to keep the number of proposed new homes in the district to a more sustainable level than the 11,000 identified by the South East Plan.”

A 1,000 signature petition was handed to the council at the meeting by North Hailsham and Hellingly Residents Union. The petition calls for the protection of a triangular piece of land between the A271, New Road and Park Road.

Grant De Jong, chairman of the group, said after the meeting: “Today we came away understanding a bit more about the strategy, but the principle of how they implement it is what we are focused on.

“For us the main points are still infrastructure, the gap between Hailsham and Hellingly closing, the added pressure on the sewage works and the burden on services.”

The district council is committed to reviewing the assessment of current and future housing needs in the Strategy.

The Core Strategy incorporates the part of Wealden that is in the South Downs National Park.

Full details of the Core Strategy and the forthcoming Strategic Sites Development Plan can be viewed at www.council.wealden.gov.uk