Mayfields Brighton Embarrassment

One of Mayfield’s Directors has received an embarrassing rejection in his efforts to promote his new market town as a solution to Brighton’s housing needs.

Last year a member of Brighton’s Green Council told LAMBS; “The green party would never agree to building on a sensitive wildlife site – and building on a flood plain is daft”.

But this fact has not deterred Mayfields Director, Lee Newlyn. Earlier this week he unsuccessfully pitched Mayfields’ proposals at a Construction Voice forum titled; ‘Meeting Housing Needs in Brighton – Building In, Up or Out.’


Mayfields Director, Lee Newlyn, pitching his vision at Construction Voice attended by many of Brighton’s leading property development companies. (CV images courtesy Simon Callaghan Photography )

His ideas were voted the least popular option with a show of just four hands in an audience of more than 100 of the City’s construction elite.

This is Mr Newlyn’s second embarrassment at a Brighton property seminar in less than a year. In December he hit the headlines for suggesting that golf buggies could be used as an answer to Mayfields’ transport problems.

At the time he told an audience of Women in Property that;

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Mayfields electric buggy solution.

We’re not building cars out of the model; we’re simply providing other services that give a choice and hopefully a better choice for people to use. We did at one stage look at the American model where they actually have golf carts, effectively buggies electronically, which can shift over fair distances at 35mph, which would actually run on separate tracks up to the station.


The story was reported in the Argus and the Mid Sussex Times.

This week’s seminar sought to establish the most sensible solution to Brighton’s growing housing need of between 13,200 and 24,000 new homes by 2031. The debate focused on four options: building on urban fringe sites; building high quality high-rise buildings; keeping the status quo or building on green fields over the South Downs.

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Mayfields Director, Lee Newlyn.

The event began with experts discussing the merits of each option and before opening up the debate to the audience.
Introducing his proposals, Mr Newlyn explained that he would not be giving details of the scheme because Mayfields’ plan was due to be revealed at the Horsham Hearing next week. However, he went on to claim that his company controlled enough land and crucial access points for it to be viable. He also claimed that Mayfield’s remoteness from the railway line was intentional to avoid it becoming a commuter town.

Mr Newlyn was then questioned about Mayfield’s sustainability, drainage and transport issues and criticised for his “uninspirational” affordable housing.

Devil's Dyke caption here.

Paul Zara, a Director of Conran and Partners, concluded his presentation with a powerful image of the South Downs stressing the importance of preserving the countryside from development.

A vote taken at the end of the debate showed that by far the most popular solution for Brighton was ‘Building Up’. This concept was presented by Paul Zara, Director of Conran and Partners, who received a round of applause for his innovative ideas which avoided building on the countryside and preserved the beautiful views from the Downs.

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