This spring sees the next steps towards the production of a Neighbourhood Development Plan for Hailsham.

A lot has happened since the launch of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee earlier this year including the launch of various questionnaires for local residents and businesses.

Furthermore, a community engagement event held at the Hailsham East Community Centre in February enabled people to have their say on what sort of homes should be provided in and around the Hailsham area in the future, taking into consideration local environment and sustainability, design, traffic and transport, economy, services and facilities.

Statistics obtained from an analysis of the comments put forward at the public consultation event have revealed strong support for the Neighbourhood Planning Committee’s objectives.

>>Vision & Objectives Workshop FINDINGS REPORT – view the statistics!

“Our public consultations have generated a lot of interest and responses,” said Councillor Glenn Moore, chairman of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee. “Through such consultations involving residents and local businesses we aim to ensure that the local community has the opportunity to voice its opinion on how the town should grow in the future and the facilities and services it would require to do so.”

Town Clerk John Harrison commented: “Through our various public consultations and community engagement events, residents, businesses and the wider community have been updated on the work undertaken by the Neighbourhood Planning Committee and its working groups to date.”

“Community input has been enabled at various key stages of the neighbourhood plan process and the opinions, ideas and information captured from the local community will help directly inform and shape the Hailsham Neighbourhood Plan.”

Hailsham Town Council appointed a suitably qualified consultant last year to help in the preparation of the town’s Neighbourhood Plan, the aims and objectives of which will be to:

  • Create a vision for sustainable development within the parish of Hailsham
  • Conserve and enhance the historic setting of the parish, including open spaces
  • Support the expansion of local business and optimise employment capacity
  • Identify transport infrastructure requirements within the parish
  • Determine education, health and community facilities needs of parishioners

During the next few months, the Town Council’s neighbourhood planning consultants will carry out a review of the Wealden Local Plan, the draft of which was published by Wealden District Council earlier this month, recommending a lower housing requirement than in the earlier Issues, Options & Recommendations document. Any remaining gaps in the evidence base will be identified.

An agreement will be made on the vision and objectives of the Hailsham Neighbourhood Plan and following this, an initial policy list draft will be produced prior to the preparation of a pre-submission Neighbourhood Plan document.

It is anticipated that the Neighbourhood Plan preparation process will be carried out in parallel to the draft Wealden Local Plan timescales.