Different rules for different folk when it comes to Wealden’s 7km ruling

Wealden’s planning authority has long had a reputation for somewhat ‘strange’ decision making.

However, after years of confusion, I believe that I now understand how the 7Km from Ashdown Forest rule concerning restrictions on development actually works.

If you are a private householder who wishes to build an extension on your home, or a community project such as a scouts hut or doctor’s surgery, then the 7km rule will definitely apply.

However, if you are a developer who wishes to build a thousand houses or a supermarket like Morrisons who wish to build a shop on a congested pub car park putting a long established local shop out of business, then your friendly local planning authority will do everthing possible to facilitate your wishes and find a form or words or obscure paragraph which means that the 7km rule does NOT apply to you. Simple isn’t it.

Our district and county councils seem to feel that we should be grateful for (over) development of our county and that the price of congestion on our roads, overloaded facilities like doctor’s surgeries and over subscribed schools, is well worth paying.

Anyone who wishes to see the fruits of such thinking should come to Uckfield where we are undergoing, and will continue for some time to undergo, a roadworks shamble from which we are promised the fruits of a better (ie prettier) High Street. So we will be able to walk along the ‘new’HighStreet, passing the empty shop fronts caused by loss of business to them in the process. But it’s all progress!

So, my friends, if like me you feel that local democracy is a somewhat flawed process, find out the names of our, often shy, representatives who make these decisions, remember those names and when the time comes that they actually need us little people to vote for them, DO THE RIGHT THING.

Roy Harris


PS Does anyone in our County Highways Department actually understand what the expression ‘traffic flow’ actually means?