Number of Homes in Wealden and Uckfield

A short investigation into the need for new homes in Wealden and Uckfield. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures for growth in population and number of households are based on the 2021 Census

National population projections: 2020-based interim

– The population of the UK is projected to increase by 3.2% in the first 10 years of the projections, from an estimated 67.1 million in mid-2020 to 69.2 million in mid-2030.

– There will be an increasing number of older people; the number of people aged 85 years and over was estimated to be 1.7 million in 2020 (2.5% of the UK population) and this is projected to almost double to 3.1 million by 2045 (4.3% of the UK population).

– Over the next 10 years, there is projected to be a total of 59,000 more deaths than births.


Household projections for England: 2018-based

– The number of households in England is projected to increase by 1.6 million (7.1%) over the next 10 years, from 23.2 million in 2018 to 24.8 million in 2028; this level of growth is very similar to the 2016-based projections.

– The highest regional rate of growth in households is projected to take place in the South West, while the North East is projected to have the slowest rate. 

– 95% of the projected increase in households by 2028 is attributable to one-person and multiple adult households without dependent children.

– The number of people aged 75 years and over living on their own is projected to increase by 461,000 in the 10 years to 2028.


Household projections for South East England

Households mid-2018                                               3,754,000

Households mid-2028                                               4,011,000

% change 2018 to 2028                                            6.9%

Total increase in households                                     257,000

Ave annual increase over decade                             25,700


Wealden and Uckfield in context

– Uckfield has a population of 14,500 living in approximately 6,000 homes

– If they all go ahead, Ridgewood Place, Horstedpond Farm, Gladman, Owlsbury Farm, Bird in Eye South, Bird in Eye North, Cysleys Farm and other smaller but still major approved and proposed housing developments for Uckfield and the surrounding area would add almost 4,500 new homes (75% of existing total)

– The vast majority (over 90%) of these new homes would be located in South and East Uckfield

– As of April 2023, only 170 of the 250 Stage 1 Ridgewood Place homes had been built and occupied. Construction work on the remaining 80 Stage 1 homes is getting underway. No detailed plans have as yet been put forward for the remaining Stages 2-5 (covering a total of 750 homes, plus several amenities) of the approved 1.000-home Ridgewood Place development project

– According to Mike Gadd of the Save Wealden from Overdevelopment Team (SWOT), there were 8,899 unbuilt permissions in Wealden as of 30 March 2023. Around 1,700 of these are in Uckfield and its surrounding villages

– Wealden District Council (WDC) is developing a new Local Plan after the previous one lapsed. The number of homes required in the Plan is calculated using the method provided by the government as published in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The standard methodology provides a minimum figure for WDC to deliver of 1,231 dwellings per annum (almost three times the number in the previous Plan)

– Theoretically, this means WDC alone would be called on to provide 12,300 new homes over the next 10 years, or 5% of South East England’s required new homes

– Yet Wealden’s population of 160,000 represents only 1.7% of South East England’s 9.3m population

Why should Wealden provide 5% of South East England’s required new homes over the next decade when it is home to only 1.7% of the region’s population?

And why should Uckfield be called upon to provide a disproportionately high percentage of this unrealistically high total of new Wealden homes?