Locals Against Mayfield Building Sprawl is an action group set up to stop Mayfield Market Town’s proposal for a new town encompassing 7-10,000 houses on pristine Sussex countryside.

We consist of residents who live and work in the Albourne, Henfield, Shermanbury, Woodmancote and Wineham area, which is being pushed by Mayfield Market Towns Limited (Mayfield) as being suitable for their proposed new town.  We all strongly believe that the area is completely unsuitable for the proposed development, and are promoting this view to all local residents and the wider community.

Unfortunately the latest plans from Mayfield Market Town are not the first to blight the area.

Similar schemes, although not on this scale, have been looked at over a number of years in this part of West Sussex by various developers, and all of these have concluded that it is not viable to build in open countryside that has no infrastructure, no employment, no railway, is prone to flooding and is not favoured for development by either Horsham or Mid-Sussex Councils under whose control the area falls.

Mayfield Market Towns are a development company formed in mid 2012 for the purpose of trying to obtain planning permission to develop this unspoilt part of Sussex; they mention in their persuasive website that they are consulting with local Parish and Districts Councillors amongst others; we are aware of many of these meetings and understand they have had little or no support whatsoever.

Mayfield are presently trying to obtain options from landowners to buy their land if planning permission is granted, which is Mayfield’s only way of gaining a foothold in the area, since as far as we are aware, they have absolutely no connection with it at all. The options they are seeking are between 5 and 21 years, but of great concern to us is that they seem to be using misleading statements in order to get their way. We have written two letters to one of the directors at Mayfield Market Towns, and copied in the local MP’s in whose constituencies the development would fall, to make him aware of the unpleasant tactics his employees are using.

We would be very pleased to hear from anyone who has a view on the proposal, all views are welcome.

Whilst the developers are trying to make the offer of giving an option attractive by;

  • Promises of substantial gains if they do even obtain planning permission.
  • An income on your land for the period whilst they are attempting to gain planning.
  • Statements that imply neighbours, and others, have or are considering signing.
  • Creating the impression that if you do not sign up, you will simply be surrounded by their development anyway.
  • Encouragement that the development will happen and it is only a matter of timE

There are serious pit falls you should be aware of if you do sign;

  • You will be unable to sell your land for the period of the options, it is unlikely anyone would buy land whilst an option to buy is held by others.
  • If a smaller development is ever allowed in the area, you will not be able to sell to those developers as you will be tied in to the Mayfield project.
  • You will be devaluing your property and properties in the wider area as there will be a perceived uncertainty for the future shape of the district.
  • Property development companies are renowned for going ‘bust’ whilst trying to obtain permissions, either through running out of money whilst trying to get planning, or as a convenient way of not fulfilling their obligations under an option agreement if planning is not forthcoming. Mayfield Market Towns is a limited company which, upon investigation, appears to hold no assets!
  • Don’t believe all that you are told by the developer.