Hailsham residents reminded to attend Local Plan Consultation this weekend

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Hailsham residents are invited to give their views on Wealden District Council's approved new Draft Local Plan at a consultation event to be held at the Civic Community Hall in Vicarage Lane this coming Saturday [23rd March], from 10am-4pm.

The draft plan, which was approved earlier this month with the formal Regulation 18 consultation to begin in March, outlines the preferred vision contains proposals for guiding future development in the Wealden district, including Hailsham. The plan outlines the preferred vision for the area, as well as strategic and non-strategic planning policies to guide development and locations the district council proposes for new homes, employment, community services and infrastructure to help meet the district's needs.

The plan also aims to protect Wealden's natural environment and contributes towards the mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

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The consultation will run for eight weeks at various locations across the Wealden district including in Hailsham on 23rd March, and people will be able to view the Draft Local Plan at a virtual exhibition and via in-person drop-in sessions.

Aerial view of Halsham town centreAerial view of Halsham town centre
Aerial view of Halsham town centre

The development of Wealden District Council's new Draft Local Plan follows the successful adoption of the Hailsham Neighbourhood (Development) Plan in May 2021 via a public referendum - a completely separate plan not to be confused with Wealden District Council's Local Plan.

The referendum for the neighbourhood plan asked whether Hailsham residents wanted the district council to use the Neighbourhood Plan to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area. The results of the referendum confirmed that 73% of those who voted were in favour of the neighbourhood plan being used to decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.

"Planning affects us all as residents and the district council's planning policies set out in the revised Draft Local Plan acts as the legal starting point in determining future planning applications," said Cllr Mary Laxton, chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee. "It goes without saying that public and stakeholder engagement is an important part of any Local Plan-making process, whether it be residents, local businesses, community organisations and infrastructure providers, as well as town and parish councils. It's crucial that local knowledge and specialist expertise be collected from a wide range of perspectives."

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"Any comments received at the district council's Draft Local Plan consultation event in Hailsham next month could have impact and I encourage people to get them in during this stage of the process. It is not a final plan and any views submitted may be beneficial and help to improve the Plan even further."

"Our town has seen significant growth over the last few years, so it's imperative that all residents attend this event and make there views known in order to influence the plan. Please markSaturday 23rd March in your diaries and take part in this important consultation, which will definitely help to shape the future of our town."

People wishing to receive updates about the Draft Local Plan and to take part in the consultation process, should register using Wealden District Council’s consultation portal at https://consult.wealden.gov.uk/kse/