High Weald

S1 Objective: To reconnect settlements, residents and their supporting economic activity with the surrounding countryside
Rationale: to understand and enhance the synergy of the local economy, society and environment, and the symbiosis with the surrounding countryside, that defines sustainable rural settlement. To provide opportunities for economic activity that supports other land management objectives of the management plan and AONB designation.

Indicator of success

i) better understanding of the role of dispersed settlement in sustainable management of the AONB

ii) increase in the range of skills and economic activity related to local landscape products

iii) a reversal of the decline in farmsteads engaged in land based economic activity


Targets for 2014

a) partnership project to develop guidance for sustainable rural communities in areas of dispersed settlement

b) development of guidelines and active support for domestic scale
renewable energy applications

c) 15% growth in local food producers and outlets

d) dedicated provision for affordable housing for key workers and, especially, land-based workers

e) 15% growth in local goods and services derived from the landscape

f) development of guidance directed at achieving mixed use settlements with capacity to respond to future demands for local food production and the processing of local landscape products for materials and energy use

S2 Objective: To protect the historic pattern of settlement
Rationale: to protect the distinctive character of towns, villages, hamlets and farmsteads and to maintain the hinterlands and other relationships (including separation) between such settlements that contribute to local identity.

Indicator of success

i) better understanding of the capacity for change within historic farmsteads and small settlements

ii) development schemes respecting and reinforcing the historic settlement pattern

Targets for 2014

a) a study to identify and characterise small rural settlement

b) policy reflecting the distinctive settlement character of the AONB

c) an awareness of historic settlement patterns influencing development decisions by Council or on appeal

d) English Heritage guidance on re-use and redevelopment of historic farmsteads in the Weald adopted

S3 Objective: To enhance the architectural quality of the High Weald
Rationale: to protect and enhance the architectural identity of the High Weald, and to re-establish the use of local materials as a means of protecting the environment and adding to this distinctiveness.

Indicator of success

i) improvement in condition and setting of historic environment

ii) better design of new buildings
and alterations, and wider use of locally-sourced materials


Targets for 2014

a) recognition and inclusion of historic rural buildings in the HER and heritage designations.

b) guidance produced on historic built form and development respecting historic character

c) Identify locally distinctive features in partnership with communities

d) High Weald specific design guidance produced that enhances the public realm, promotes high specification design, local materials, local distinctiveness, best environmental practice and sustainable construction techniques

e) craft skills to maintain historic features and buildings