The new Wealden District Plan has been released, or did it escape?
It is a lengthy document of some pretty dense wordage which needs deep study and a long lie down in a darkened room afterwards.
In the short time it has been out I have been able to skim some parts of it and been struck by a number of thoughts.
It lays down some pretty crucial aims; having to be thoroughly prepared with adequate research, needing to justify each statement and intention, being effective in what it is meant to deliver and having to be consistent with national policy.
All mighty fine sounding ideals, but does it deliver?
The problem is that it promises much but with very little ability to make it happen.
There has already been significant housing across the area matched by an abysmal lack of infrastructure.
There has been a quite miserable allocation of resources for schools, medical centres, adequate transport, water and sewerage and drainage – the list is endless!
There has been a consistent failure to back up new housing with adequate resources.
It makes a very grand statement in its vision that by 2028 the Wealden District will have improved health and wellbeing for its residents. That would be nice, but without the means to make it happen they are just empty words.
I note with interest that currently my own parish Hellingly, is marked down as an area of most development along with Hailsham.
But we have already witnessed new building which has far outstripped infrastructure development.
Doctors’ surgeries are bursting at the seams and it has only just been agreed that there should be a new primary school in the parish, which won’t be open for at least another year and then only with its lowest year groups open for business.
Families moving to the area needed the school two years ago!
The Plan is open for comment.
The cynic will say it’s a done deal but, if enough people make their opinions known, we can but hope that we end up with a community fit to live in!