By Jess Price
There are only 5 days left to submit your comments on Wealden District Council’s Direction of Travel Document. Wealden District Council have to produce a Local Plan and it wants to hear what you think about its ideas for this, whether you are a resident or visitor. The Direction of Travel Document sets out the main issues for the district and how the council think they could be dealt with, including climate change, enhancing biodiversity and creating sustainable development.
The Sussex Wildlife Trust is responding to the document and encourages you to do the same. There are some positive statements in there such as a commitment to ‘Provide policies which support and encourage development that maintains, restores, enhances and where possible creates biodiversity and ecological networks’. Whilst, the policy options for the natural environment are all positive, we are not certain that they are achievable given the volume of development the council appear to be considering. Additionally, it is not clear what impact these policies might have on the ground as there is no real commitment to targets or objectives for biodiversity when compared to the targets for housing or employment space.
We think Wealden District Council need to pull together a robust environmental evidence base that allows it to assess how much development is sustainable in the district, rather than setting itself an unachievable housing target that won’t deliver the types of housing it needs. It also need to be ambitious in its policies to recover nature and combat climate change through investing in the natural environment.
Please have a look at the documents on the Wealden District Council website and have your say. We want everyone to encourage the council to do more for the environment in this Local Plan.