More than £3.5 million of infrastructure improvements have been paid for in Wealden’s villages and towns since 2018.
The money has come from the Community Infrastructure Levy payments made by developers.
Despite the pandemic, £568 000 is being paid out this year 2021/22. Since 2018, 40 Wealden Parish and Town Councils have received CIL money to help them make infrastructure improvements for the local communities. The main beneficiaries over the past four years have included Westham Parish Council, Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council, Polegate Town Council, Horam Parish Council, Hellingly Parish Council, Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council, Hailsham Town Council, and Crowborough Town Council.
The money has been used to improve village halls and play areas, install safer pathways and upgrade car parking provision. Some of the money has been used by parishes to restore the local finger post roads signs which have become an enduring feature of the Sussex countryside.
“Many of these small improvements may only be noticed by local people,” said Councillor Ann Newton, Cabinet Member responsible for Planning & Development. “But they will make a large improvement to residents’ lives. These local improvements are being delivered alongside larger infrastructure investments across the District, through partnerships with the County Council, NHS and other providers. These will aim to reduce some of the major traffic bottlenecks across the county, provide new school places and increase health service provision where it is needed.”
Parish and Town Councils are awarded a CIL allocation which is based on the amount of development taking place in their area.
The decision on what the £3.5 million is spent on rests with the Parish or Town Council where the development has taken place.
As part of recent CIL work:
- Hailsham Town Council has spent £26,000 on improvements to the paths in Hailsham Country Park.
- Herstmonceux Parish Council has spent £22,630 on improving access and the car park to the recreation ground and surfacing work to the children’s play park.
- Crowborough Town Council has spent £116, 500 on kerbing, drainage and fencing at the Summersales Burial Ground.
- Rotherfield Parish Council has spent nearly £18,000 on a pedestrian pavement at Mark Cross.
- Westham Parish Council has spent £42,000 on the Castle Bolton play area.
- At Horam, CIL money has been used for car park improvements at the village hall as well as improvements to footways and repairs to fingerposts.