Mayfields Slice and Dice Sussex

Mayfield slice and dice Sussex

Mayfield Market towns has now submitted its representations to Horsham District Council, rubbishing the District Plan and pushing for a huge increase in housing numbers.

This Representation shows no respect for local democracy, for the natural environment or for the feelings and opinions of local people.

Horsham – Report 5 Appendices (part 2) Page 14. Click on plan to enlarge.

The main 64 page document is accompanied by a mountain of letters and Appendices which are largely theoretical models drawn up by remote planners with little or no true knowledge of the local area.

One report proposes closing the Sayers Common junction and upgrading the Albourne one; and another keeps the junction open and renames Sayers Common the ‘new “Sayers”’ with a population of around 3,000.

West Sussex County Times
Click on West Sussex County Times article to enlarge.

Due to Mid Sussex Council’s determination not to engage, Mayfields has developed a further scheme for a stand-alone settlement at Wineham. This is a re-hash of ‘Option 1’ with a new main access road carving up miles of open countryside to link it with the A23. Alternatively, another report suggests creating a monster access route through Albourne to cater for the all the extra traffic generated.

The Park and Ride is also fluid – in one map it is marked at the top of Hickstead Lane and in another it is located behind the Little Chef on the opposite side of the A23.

Mayfields doesn’t care where it builds and its Directors are prepared to say anything and go to great lengths to get their way. The Horsham Postcard campaign proved this point – cruelly convincing worried residents in North Horsham that if they supported the new town they would win a reprieve from plans to build there. The high housing numbers in Mayfields’ Representation demonstrates how dishonest and misleading this was.

We have posted Mayfields main Representation, here along with links to the Appendices below:

[box type=”none”]Mayfields Representations to Horsham District Council.

24. Horsham – Report 5

23. Horsham – Report 5 Appendices (part 1)

23. Horsham – Report 5 Appendices (part 2)

23. Horsham – Report 5 Appendices (part 3)

23. Horsham – Report 5 Appendices (part 4)[/box]

Additional documentation can be found on the Mayfields website here.

[box type=”alert”]Please leave us your comments below.  We really can stop thousands of acres of beautiful countryside from being destroyed but we need everyone to take action now by writing to your local newspaper or the County Times.

Write to the COUNTY TIMES today at and let them know what you think of Mayfields plans.[/box]


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

  1. J Howie

    Mayfields, a London developer with a purely urban agenda, and absolutely no regard for all that defines the beauty and history of the quintessential English countryside, has arrived in Sussex with an imperious arrogance, and a near total disdain for local people, and most importantly, their elected representatives.

    Indeed the principle Director, Peter Freeman, in a recent submission of his to the Wolfson Commission, refers to local Councillors when he says:
    “However, in the short term, Councillors are unwilling to engage, given their interpretation of the Localism Act, as releasing them from an obligation to meet need”.
    No doubt there then as to his utterly disdainful view of our local Councillors! What he clearly chooses not to acknowledge is that they won’t engage due to the total lack any redeeming features of the Mayfield plan.

    The only thing that gives their plans any traction is the (purposely?) vaguely worded NPPF whereby any challenge to a Council’s Housing plans then results in a remote Government Planning Inspector being parachuted in to make a decision with absolutely no regard for local people.
    Mayfields plans have no merit whatsoever, and do not stand up to any real scrutiny, so their case is built purely on rubbishing every aspect of Horsham District Council (HDC) and Mid-Sussex District Council (MSDC) plans, such as the ‘lack of a duty to co-operate’, the ‘lack of a credible environmental capacity study’ among many others. These opinions of theirs are entirely subjective in nature are adopted to again rubbish the local Council’s plans.

    They grandly offer their plan as a New/Garden City with all the ‘green trimmings’. One of their legions of problems is the fact that it won’t be remotely green, given all the car journeys it will generate, in turn leading to gridlock on an already creaking transport system. The flooding downstream from the New Town, the total destruction of so much rare wildlife habitat, the list is endless. The elephant in the room however (indeed there is a herd of elephants in the Mayfilds room) the NPPF clearly states that these Garden Cities should be locally led, locally planned, and driven locally. Mayfields qualifies under precisely none of these. It is purely born of the arrogance of a wealthy and political elite, a vanity project to massage the egos of some ageing self important narcissists, who have an arrogant and total disregard for all that defines the greatness of England.

  2. Kenneth McIntosh

    Engagement does go a long way

    I do much prefer organic growth to meet local housing needs and do support local sustainable development, and Mayfield’s proposals do not float my boat.
    Mayfield’s serious kite-flying proposals do fly in the face of our Local Parishes and our Local Planning Authority, Horsham District who have analysed the needs of our district. All are well advanced in their strategic policy documentation that is geared to deliver what housing is needed locally for the next 30 years. All are of one mind, “we do not need a new town”.

    Our unique Sussex Low Weald and its villages need to be protected for those in our surrounding towns as well as for tourists to breathe-in and take-in the peace and beauty that is theirs to enjoy for ever. This is one major reason people visit us and the South Downs National Park: to enjoy the iconic rural views.

    It is laughable to describe the 10,000 home a “garden city”. To achieve the high profit margins demanded of developers they are driven to build high density housing in order to recoup land purchase costs and building costs. Green spaces do not create profits to a developer! Visit Crawley (New Town) and see how much has gone under concrete and tarmac through infilling of the original designed-in green spaces. Our Sussex Low Weald and our people deserve much better than this.

    Serious threats do loom: The 1946 New Towns Act has not been removed from the statute book and can be used with relative ease and impunity; the three major political parties seem to find the New Towns concept attractive for one reason or another; Local Authorities may be seduced through incentivises, and the sheer thrill of the ride.

    To counter these threats we do have to work together in villages, hamlets or towns and with our Local Authorities when they ask for support to their emerging plans. Each of us really to ought to find out what our politicians, whether they are in office already or aspiring to be so are saying: on housing issues and the conflict with the protection of the rural environment generally and on Mayfield’s proposals in particular. We need to monitor and better still, influence political party manifestos that are evolving.

    To better protect our natural and built environment we need to lobby for the well intentioned parts of existing policy frames works on housing development and their guiding principles to be upheld. We need to better support policies on the use of derelict land and the redevelopment of derelict buildings for housing. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England is a good starting point as is writing to our politicians whether in central or local government and really supporting “Locals Against Mayfields Buildings Sprawl” (LAMBS).

    Engagement, becoming better informed, spreading the word does go a long way to ensure we do not give carte blanche powers to the unscrupulous or suffer the consequences of the ill thought out.

  3. Matthew Chart

    I am absolutely appalled at the Mayfield’s submission for a new town in Sussex. I truly despair at their lack of regard for localism and local people. So much these days we are told that there is a demand or genuine need. These ill-defined, subjective “magic” words, are used as shields and brushes to parry and sweep aside local people. Today it appears simply impossible for us to adequately argue against the many greedy and solely self-serving constructs (to refer to them as developers implies some positive attribute where there so often obviously is none). To elaborate upon my sweeping statement I would offer the following, If today you build a supermarket where there wasn’t one; people will shop there (swap for; houses-live, roads-drive, jobs-work). This is then used inappropriately as justification because “it was/is needed” because people shop/live/work there. Ultimately this is hollow logic and will destroy all that we love.

  4. Richard Watson

    This is a copy of a letter I have sent to Peter Freeman of Mayfield Market Towns and his fellow Directors; Jamie Borwick, Lee Newlyn and Lord Taylor of Goss Moor.

    Dear Peter,

    As I’m sure you would expect, Anthony has forwarded to me, your most recent email to him, and indeed your reply. I have also read your submission to Horsham District Council (HDC).

    I must say I had to smile when I read your ‘spin’ on the issues surrounding the Mayfields plan, and your justifications for it. What is also interesting is your singular refusal to address any points that are manifestly true, but go contrary to your beliefs and justifications for Mayfields, shall we say uncomfortable truths?

    -There is no doubt that there is a big need for extra housing countrywide, no sensible person would argue with this. However, the vast bulk of local people are much happier to entrust the local housing plans to locally elected Councillors, who live locally, are familiar with the local issues, and most importantly, have to answer to local people at the polls. Where exactly is your accountability? Do correct me if I’m wrong, but you have no democratic mandate whatsoever, not a single vote!

    -Even the government is coming round to the understanding that new housing should be targeted at Brownfield sites primarily. There are very roughly 62,000 hectares available in the UK (more than twice that which is needed), but at no point in any of your missives do you address this. Again an uncomfortable reality for you.

    -Personal vilification. Are you serious? You have, to coin a clichéd phrase that I have used before, chosen to ‘park your tanks’ on all our front lawns. Your attentions were completely uninvited, unwanted, and bear no credible scrutiny. In one fell swoop, you have killed the local property market in our area, threatening what is much the largest asset for the vast bulk of normal people. What on earth do you expect people to feel? If you seriously think you’ve been vilified, you are a far more sensitive soul than I gave you credit. I have no doubt that if anyone threatened your pile in London, you would come out fighting? I would argue that we are far more aware of the Local issues than you are, which is precisely why we are fighting you and your Mayfield scheme. Wrong place, wrong time in an area of England that is not only beautiful, but already full.

    -You suddenly seem to have had an epiphany, and adopted a certain ‘religious zeal’ (a passionate belief as you call it) for New Towns, or Garden Cites. Fair enough – I don’t buy it, but more to the point, you seem to be be using this as the main justification for wanting to go ahead with Mayfields. Does anybody else’s point of view matter, or is your ‘passionate belief’ enough justification of itself for Mayfields?

    -If you were being honest with yourself, and everyone else, your recent survey was to put it mildly, far less than a stunning mandate for Mayfields. This despite the laughable slant of the questions. The PR company you used, despite being heavily attached to Mayfields, should be embarrassed to have produced such a shamefully biased survey. Your spin on this is akin to the spin of the Blair government at its peak.

    -You happily gloss over the geographic and infrastructure issues, including flooding, particularly the dire prospects for the downriver established settlements and villages, the already virtually gridlocked transport infrastructure and lack of any local and expandable railway network. These being just some of the multiple issues. Maybe Lee Newlyn’s golf buggies are going to be a serious proposal of Mayfields?

    -If I were a local Councillor, I would be pretty upset with the utterly belittling (and manifestly untrue) and dismissive way in which you refer to them in your Wolfson Submission. Is it any wonder that they won’t engage with you?

    – I notice from your submission to HDC that your whole case is based on rubbishing HDC’s and MSDC’s plans, both in terms of your totally slanted view on whether they have fulfilled their duty to co-operate, the fact that you don’t consider they have done an effective environmental capacity study among many other aspects. Fundamentally, your sole justification for Mayfields is now that suddenly the NPPF has appeared, you have seen an opening to force your plans on others. I appreciate our lunch was ‘off the record’, but you acceded to this point at the time. It would appear that all your objections are purely subjective. Again no mention anywhere of local support for your plans, because there is indeed no local support for them, despite the fact that on page 18, para 2.7 you quote from the Government Prospectus which talks about ‘Locally Led Garden Cities’.
    You accuse the Councils of an inadequate strategic policy on Housing Provision. Again very subjective. Inadequate in your view, but perfectly adequate in the view of locals.

    When you address the issues above, and many others, then possibly some may take you more seriously. But if I may be so bold (and running the risk of vilifying you!), the Mayfields plan adopts an imperiously arrogant approach, an outsider parachuting his way into a local area, assuming an air of knowing better than local people, exactly what’s good for them.

    With best regards,

    Richard Watson.

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