Michael Gove 'sympathises' with concerns about high Wealden housing numbers
Cabinet minister Michael Gove MP and Wealden District Council leaders have met to discuss concerns over the number of houses the authority has to include in its Local Plan
Mr Gove, the Cabinet Secretary of State for Housing, Levelling Up & Communities, had
an online meeting with Wealden council leader Bob Standley and deputy leader Ann
The meeting, facilitated by Wealden MP Nus Ghani, was held on Friday 10 December
and is part of a concentrated lobbying campaign to the government about the high
number of homes Wealden is obliged to provide under current guidelines.
Councillor Bob Standley said he felt the minister understood the concerns raised and
both he and Councillor Newton were encouraged by the responses to their issues.
These included the way the 5-year land supply (5YLS) was calculated. In the Wealden
District Council area there are more than 7,500 permissions for new homes given, but not
built out - with the unpalatable effect that unbuilt permissions mean there is a lack of a
5YLS, which has encouraged further speculative planning applications.
The current use of 2014 population data rather than more up to date 2018 figures was
Mr Gove thanked the councillors for raising the topics and officials say he was clearly
sympathetic to issues and solutions proposed.
Government is reviewing the position and further details are expected early in the New
Both Councillor Standley and Councillor Newton emphasised what they described as the
importance of getting a new Local Plan in place and said they will, following their meeting
with Mr Gove, continue to raise the issues with other ministers.