30 Jun Dealing with Planning in the Ashdown Forest

Wealden District Council recently published a letter to planning agents in March 2017 addressing the potential impact of nitrogen deposition on the Ashdown Forest. The council have imposed a restriction on all development within the district until compensation measures are in place. There is real concern about the potential impact of traffic movements on the forest.

This follows the new draft Local Plan which was published in March this year and set a target of 14,101 new houses up to the year 2028, this will now be reduced to 11,456.

Wealden’s preferred option for compensation is for developers to provide comparable habitat which can be restored to lowland heath. Until this is in place, Wealden will not determine any applications for development regardless of the traffic impact.

This is a controversial move which places the potential impact on the forest above the desperate need for new housing in the area. This is in stark contrast to neighbouring Tunbridge Wells Council, who have set a housing target of 13,000 new homes over the next 15 years.

All new developments will be subject to increased highway reports and for commercial applications, trip numbers will be a determining factor.