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More than £6 million was collected from developers across Wealden during 2018/19 to help fund infrastructure improvements.

The biggest beneficiary from the £6.12 million collected from the year’s Community Infrastructure Levy will be future road improvements to the Ersham Road Diplocks roundabout and other highway schemes in the south of Wealden. These are receiving an allocation of £4 million.

Wealden’s parish and town councils share £769,000 to support infrastructure projects which are important to their local areas. A further £167,000 will go to support the continued environmental monitoring and management of Ashdown Forest, the major Special Protection Area in the District. Another £51,000 was allocated for maintaining Walshes Park in Crowborough, which provides an alternative place for people and their dogs to exercise away from Ashdown Forest.

“We have always insisted that major development with the District must be accompanied by necessary infrastructure improvements,” said Councillor Ann Newton, Wealden Cabinet Member for Planning and Development. “The improvements do not just benefit the residents of new homes but everyone. The Community Infrastructure Levy is paid by developers on the area of the property they are constricting. It is collected by the District Council. Some of the money is distributed to parish and town councils and the County Council for use on their infrastructure projects, and some retained for use on infrastructure improvements by Wealden. CIL money has helped pay for two new country parks, which provide Suitable Alternative Natural Green Spaces near to the new developments. These are the 70 acre Walshes Park in Crowborough and the 74 acre Horsted Green Park at Uckfield.

The 2018/19 allocation of CIL funds has left a carry–over of £826,000 which will be added to CIL funds held by the Council and used for future infrastructure projects. An amount, which is equivalent to the Council’s administrative costs, has also been re-invested in the Council’s Revolving Infrastructure Fund reserve. This is to be used to kick-start capital spending on new projects while contributions wait to be collected.

Photo shows river bank improvements at Walshes Park, Crowborough.