The relevant planning history and policy background for the site.
Wealden Local Plan
Wealden District Council does not currently have a sufficient supply of housing to meet its identified housing needs, which is therefore exacerbating already existing housing affordability issues. This position has worsened significantly over the past 20 years with the median affordability ratio (the average house price against the average working persons’ income) increasing from below 7.0 times in 2000 to around 11.5 times in 2020. This is higher than the average affordability ratio nationally and for East Sussex.
In addition, the Council does not currently have an up-to-date Local Plan, with the previous draft Local Plan submitted to the Government being withdrawn from the preparation process in early 2020. The Council is now in the early stages of preparing a new Local Plan, setting out the strategic priorities for the District and identifying where housing will be located to meet housing needs, however this is unlikely to be adopted until 2023 / 2024 at the earliest.
In the meantime, the Council is welcoming applications in sustainable locations, where these accord with current planning policy requirements and can assist the Council in increasing its housing supply to address unmet housing needs.
Previous proposals on the site
We have previously sought to provide information through this website to demonstrate how the emerging proposals seek to deliver a suitable scheme which would greatly differ from that previously refused for the site in 2008. Our approach, as demonstrated through this consultation, has been to start afresh and to seek to positively respond to the reasons why this scheme (for 750 homes) was not successful. To find out more about the previous proposals and how they differ from the current scheme please click here.