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Part One – Introduction and Objectives

Chapter 1: Introduction

What is this document about?

1.1 Planning affects many aspects of our lives – from where we live, work and shop to where and how we can spend leisure time.  Effective planning is about managing change rather than letting it happen in an unplanned way.

The Hastings Local Plan

1.2 The Hastings Local Plan will be a set of planning documents, maps and written policies to show where, in what form and in what quantities development can take place. It will set out how Hastings is expected to change over the time period up to 2028, and will reflect other strategies and policies in the area including matters such as education, health and economic development priorities. The documents that make up the Hastings Local Plan are shown in the diagram below:

The documents that make up the Hastings Local Plan

Figure 1: The documents that make up the Hastings Local Plan

1.3 The Hastings Planning Strategy - this is what you’re reading now. It has informed other Local Plan documents by setting an overall framework for the future of the town. More detail about how we have developed the Hastings Planning Strategy is given below.

1.4 The Hastings Development Management Plan - this identifies development sites to meet the vision in the Planning Strategy and contains detailed policies for development management, against which planning applications will be assessed.

1.5 Infrastructure Delivery Plan and Schedule - this provides supportive evidence of what physical, social, and environmental infrastructure is required to support delivery of the Planning Strategy.

1.6 Neighbourhood Plans – these provide the opportunity for local people to prepare detailed plans for their own local area.

1.7 Supplementary Planning Documents - These provide greater detail on policies in the Local Plan.

1.8 The Local Development Scheme, Statement of Community Involvement, Local Plan Monitoring Report and Policies Map are procedural elements undertaken as part of the planning process. More detail on these documents is available on our website at: and

Changes to the planning system

1.9 This Strategy was formerly known as the Local Development Framework Core Strategy. The National Planning Policy Framework1, which was published in March 2012 aims to simplify the plan making system, and in the interests of keeping things simple, we have renamed the Core Strategy the Hastings Planning Strategy.

1.10 The Localism Act 2011 provided for the abolition of regional spatial strategies, including the South East  Plan, which previously set a housing target for Hastings. As part of the preparation of the Planning Strategy, the Council undertook work to establish a locally determined housing target. Therefore, while the evidence underpinning the preparation of the South East Plan provided the foundations, the Council has supplemented this through further examination of more recent information to determine the most appropriate level of future housing development.

Planning for waste and minerals

1.11 The management of waste and production of minerals are carried out in a manner that usually extends beyond the boundaries of a single District or Borough Council. It is important therefore that the need for such activity is considered in a wider geographical context and for this reason, planning for waste and minerals is carried out by East Sussex County Council, the South Downs National Park Authority and Brighton & Hove City Council.

1.12 Local planning policy for this is contained in the East Sussex, South Downs and Brighton & Hove Waste and Minerals Plan, adopted February 20132. Alongside the Hastings Local Plan, the Waste and Minerals Plan forms the development plan for the area. District and Borough Councils therefore also need to take relevant polices  in these plans into account when reaching decisions on planning applications. Planning applications for waste and minerals activity are considered by East Sussex County Council.

Further information about the Hastings Planning Strategy

1.13 This document; the Hastings Planning Strategy, provides a long-term plan to deliver regeneration and sustainable growth in the town up to 2028. In accordance with national planning policy, the Planning Strategy seeks to achieve this, following the approach of the presumption in favour of sustainable development. The Hastings Development Management Plan is more specifically concerned with individual development sites and specific details. The purpose of the Planning Strategy is to set an overall framework for the future of the town and it:

  • sets out the vision for the future sustainable development and regeneration of the town up to 2028.
  • identifies the key issues to be addressed through the planning system and sets out generally how we intend to deliver new housing, jobs and infrastructure and also contains policies for protecting our most important green spaces and historic townscapes.
  • sets out how we’ll accommodate future levels of housing growth.
  • sets guidelines for the pattern of land uses around the town.
  • forms the context for other Local Plan documents that will be prepared in the future.
  • clearly shows how planning policies and the use of land will support the key targets in the Hastings & St Leonards Sustainable Community Strategy 2009 - 2026.
  • joins up planning and land issues with plans and proposals affecting health, equalities, community safety, housing, regeneration, community development, employment, education, transport and the environment set out in the Hastings & St Leonards Sustainable Community Strategy.

1.14 During the period up to 2028 the Hastings Planning Strategy will be reviewed to reflect progress in its delivery, and it is anticipated that this would be carried out in time to have a revised Strategy adopted by no later than the mid - point of the plan period (i.e. 2019/20).

Writing the Hastings Planning Strategy

1.15 We have gone through several stages in producing the Planning Strategy. The first stage – “Issues and Options” was carried out at the end of 2006, when we presented an overview of the local issues, and suggested options for addressing them. We asked for comments, inviting further issues and options to be identified too.

1.16 The next stage “Preferred Approaches” took into consideration the comments we received as part of the ‘Issues and Options’ consultation, studies on issues such as flood risk and land for housing, and assessments of the environmental, economic and social impacts of the different issues and options that have been put forward.

1.17 In July and August 2011 we carried out a further round of informal consultation to gather views on a locally set housing target for the period up to 2028, as well as new policies and changes to policies since the previous consultation.

1.18 What the Council considered the final version of the Planning Strategy, taking account of the comments received on earlier drafts of the document, was submitted to the Government for independent examination  in October 2012. The Plan was subject to a further round of consultation on Main Modifications during May - June 2013, and was subsequently found Sound in 2013. The Council formally adopted the Hastings Planning Strategy on 19 February 2014.

1.19 The shape and form of the Planning Strategy has inevitably evolved over time in response to our understanding of the key issues, and to points raised by those who responded to the earlier stages in its preparation. We have tried to make the document succinct and easy to understand; while sufficiently comprehensive to provide a clear explanation about the spatial planning approach the Council intends to follow.

Confused by the Plan?

1.20 We have done our best to keep jargon and technical terms to a minimum and we have included an explanation of some of the terms used in the glossary at the back of this document. If you would like further clarification please contact us on 01424 451098 and we will try to help.

1.21 You can find further information about the Hastings Planning Strategy by looking on our website at


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