High Weald

Vision for settlement
A landscape in which the distinctive and historic pattern of settlement of the High Weald is protected in a way that positively contributes to the natural environment and improves the connections between settlements and the countryside. Appropriately worded land use planning policies within relevant development plans ensure that settlements retain their distinctiveness and individual historic buildings, conservation areas and buried archaeological remains are conserved and enhanced as appropriate

This vision can be realised through new resources, and the application of planning policies and guidance that seek to control development on the basis of an understanding of rural sustainability; promote the traditional pattern of High Weald villages; maximise environmental design and construction quality including, where appropriate, by the use of traditional and local construction materials; minimise resource consumption and promote alternative forms of energy; support appropriate businesses (especially those based on and supporting productive use of land, and community objectives); and the enhancement of the historic environment.

Top 5 issues for settlement

  • Need for greater understanding – e.g. of the dispersed settlement pattern of the High Weald, and the connections between settlements and the countryside
  • Loss of rural function – becoming dormitories for commuting or places of retirement
  • Suburbanisation – erosion of AONB character through extension of curtilages, inappropriate modifications, or treatments, of boundaries and buildings
  • Inappropriate new development – e.g. large-sized residences failing to meet needs of local community
  • Inappropriate design and building materials – architecture not respecting AONB character, quality and objectives