A planning application for development to the South of Heathfield, on Sandy Cross Lane (a small country lane) has been allowed at appeal, in part due to the failure of Wealden District Council to represent their case fully and with evidence.
The appeal states: "[t]he appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted for the erection of up to 8 self-build/custom housebuilding dwellings and ancillary works at Land east of Sandy Cross Lane, Heathfield." This comes despite a large number of objections from local residents and Wealden District Council's Planning Committee South rejecting the application when the Conservatives held the Council. The Council is now under Liberal Democrat and Green control, with Heathfield being represented by "Independents".
The appeal states: "[n]o evidence has been presented of existing air quality issues or that this [...] development would have a materially adverse effect on air quality or other forms of pollution" and that "I have not been presented with any evidence that the proposal would harm the adjacent ancient woodland." The full letter can be found here: Planning and Building Control - Wealden District Council
There have been questions asked as to whether Wealden District Council failed to put forward a good enough defence, especially given the fact that local councillors were elected on manifestos of being anti-development in the AONB.