This summer 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 in 2015 including various public consultations and engagement events for local residents, which 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.

Two additional public engagement events have been scheduled to take place in August, at which residents will be able to find out more about the draft policies of the Hailsham Neighbourhood Plan and help the Committee to identify priorities for infrastructure and other provision in the future.

“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 local residents – and 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.”

“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.”

The Town Council’s neighbourhood planning consultants have undertaken a review of the Wealden Local Plan, the draft of which was published by Wealden District Council earlier this year, 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 has been made on the vision and objectives of the Hailsham Neighbourhood Plan and an initial policy list draft has been produced which will go to public consultation in August before preparing a pre-submission Neighbourhood Plan document.

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