Please use our A-Z INDEX to navigate this site


Greenhouse Gas Awards contender, Wealden District Council


REPEAT OFFENDERS - It's no wonder that Extinction Rebellion is gathering such momentum with councils all over England carrying on as if there was no crisis. The carbon footprint for Herstmonceux village has rocketed because of all the failings of the members of Wealden to tackle climate change and set a good example. Wealden's councillors have granted planning permission for hundreds of houses without solar panels or electric vehicle charging points. If this example by every town and village in the United Kingdom, then our country would be one of the worst polluters in the world on a per square kilometer basis. The councillors you voted for are partly responsible for killing hundreds of species. It makes us want to glue ourselves to something. Peacefully mind you. This village is a contender for the Greenhouse Gas award 2019.



Kirstie Leighton is a solicitor employed by Wealden District Council. She is also the Deputy Monitoring Officer. She recently wrote to a couple her council made homeless, threatening High Court action in connection with the demolition of a building that if it cannot be lived in, would otherwise provide facilities for Health & Safety Regulations compliance.


The building would be a permitted development in any event, as per the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, Class J.


The building cost just £25,000 to put up. It was affordable and sustainable as per the National Planning Policy Framework. It reduced the travel to work every day with just one shopping trip at the weekends, so saving 4 trips from elsewhere to work, as is now the position. Hence, Wealden have increased the carbon footprint for their geographical region despite them seeking CIL and SAC mitigation payments in perversity. Where are all these taxes going. Is it to offset their illogicality?


This council has been asked to explain what they would be using this SAC payment for, and would their plans be more effective than if the couple installed (for example) solar panels by way of carbon offset. To date Wealden have not replied. We understand that (according to Roy Galley) they are still formulating an Action Plan, hence will have difficulty justifying charges, until such time as they know what they are doing.


In addition, there is a live planning application, that seems likely to be appealed to the Planning Inspectorate if nothing positive happens explanation wise. We recall that the last time this council demolished buildings, rather famously, the Bushy Wood animal sanctuary was proven as a need and the stables were rebuilt. But that, Wealden never contributed to the appalling losses the occupiers of that complex suffered, not did this council pay costs, even though the Inspector and Ordered them to do so. 


By all account Miss Leighton seems to be a decent enough person, hence we live in high hopes that she manages to bring some common sense to the table.




MIXED USE - Another industrial unit in Hackhurst Lane just a couple of hundred yards from the building Wealden want to demolish. The top floor sure looks lived in. How is this use allowed, but resisted next door?


VACGEN - In 1964 the Vacuum Generators company was formed in East Grinstead, England by Dr Bernard Eastwell and Vic Treasure with a single product - the CR38 all metal right angled valve. At its peak between the mid 1970ís and the end of the 1980ís the VG organisation had grown to cover 27 sites producing an extensive range of scientific equipment with the VG team growing to 2,300 staff.

In the 1980ís the Group established businesses in the mass spectrometry field and were moving into the new epitaxial growth techniques, becoming a leading player in the production MBE (Molecular Beam Epitaxy) field in the 1990ís. The VACGEN plant is now located in a purpose built factory and research facility in Lower Dicker and continues to be a world leader in the manufacture of UHV components, manipulation and sample handling systems.

Unit A, Swallow Business Park, Diamond Drive
Lower Dicker, Hailsham, BN27 4EL, UK

Phone: +44 (0) 1323 379 379
Fax: +44 (0) 1323 379 380



There are other units at Hackhurst Lane where there is a mixed use, so why not for this couple. It smacks of unfavourable treatment, as per Kelly Davis v Wansdyke District Council.


There is no affordable land in the Wealden District for self-builds. This couple could not afford renting at the high rents sustained in the district by the plethora of planning consents for luxury homes, but the absence of actual builds of affordable houses, such as flat-packs or other self-builds.


This is the subject of letters to MP for Wealden, Nusrat Ghani, and James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Communities.




RAKING IN THE CASH - Never mind climate change, these large units near Hailsham reveal no climate mitigation features. Council's don't want small units that attract no commercial rates, They want huge buildings like this one to stack their coffers with money. Never mind all the forest fires in Brazil and Russia. Big business is putting the little man out on the street. So much for NPPF S.17: Support a transition to a low carbon future in changing climate circumstances, such as re-use of existing resources and renewable energy.




SCORCHED EARTH POLICIES - Wealden have declared a Climate Emergency. We await their Climate Action Plan with eager anticipation. If the plan does not work, this view could soon become an arid desertified version of its former self. Copyright photograph © July 2019 Climate Change Trust Hx.