A coalition of opposition formed of Prospective Parliamentary Candidates now exists against Mayfield Market Town. LAMBS have received several letters of support from candidates, who appear as bemused as LAMBS as to how a proposal deemed unsustainable by the Inspector and Horsham District Council in 2015 and the neighbouring District of Mid Sussex, can still be under consideration by Horsham when all public evidence suggests it cannot meet Local District and National planning policies. It is the housing planners’ version of the “magic money tree” – sounds great, but not realistic. Alison Bennett, a Mid Sussex District councillor and The Liberal Democrat candidate for Arundel and South Downs views are particularly telling, as she has met both LAMBS and Mayfields.
“I feel that I have given both LAMBS and MMT a fair hearing, and I am well placed to conclude that the proposals that Mayfield Market Town are putting forward are flawed and I do not support their plans.”
We have also heard from Isabel Thurston the Green Party candidate for Arundel and South Downs.
“I would like to assure you of my complete support in opposing this insensitive proposal… The Green Party believes that we should design new housing with, not against, local people. Small scale development, in sustainable locations and with affordable housing for local people is our biggest priority. Our policy [is] “The Green New Deal for Housing”, which says that we would incentivise local authorities to spread small developments across their areas, rather than building huge estates, to ensure all new developments are located so that residents do not need to drive, and to prioritise bringing back empty homes into use.”
We have also heard from Mims Davies, The Conservative Party candidate for Mid Sussex, and a minister in the last Government. Although Mayfield Market Towns proposals are entirely located in Horsham District, which falls within Arundel and South Downs Constituency, she like us all realised that if approved it will have far reaching effects for the region as a whole, and massively negative implications for Mid Sussex. She has also written to LAMBS, emphasising her local roots.
“This development muted from Mayfield is completely unacceptable and would surely threaten our beautiful area and decimate precious countryside. It is both unwanted and unwarranted. It must be resisted fully and I congratulate you on the excellent campaign you have waged so far.”
Gemma Bolton, the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Mid Sussex has also offered her support.
“In this case it would be quite wrong to be building on green field sites with the loss of trees, hedgerows, the effect on habitats etc. There would also be traffic problems with a probability of hundreds of vehicles travelling for access to local stations.”
We will bring you more comments from other candidates when they are received. If you have any questions about Mayfields, we suggest you write to your local District Councillor and ask them if they support Mayfield’s proposals, if so why they believe it is a sustainable, realistic proposal to meet the Housing need of Horsham District.
Horsham District Councillors: https://horsham.moderngov.co.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1
Mid Sussex District Councillors: http://midsussex.moderngov.co.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1
The next stage of the process will be a public consultation on Horsham’s proposed plan, and it would be bizzare if Mayfields were to be included at that stage. We also ask that you share this post with anyone in the District to ensure that they are aware of what Mayfields really is, a magic housing tree.