Mayfield Market Town is a proposed new town on Henfield’s north-eastern border; roughly the same size as Burgess Hill, but without a train station. The plans are set to cause traffic chaos as new residents commute to and from work. The new Sussex town will encompass 7,000-10,000 dwellings and add up to 14,000 cars to local roads. Hassocks will be the nearest train station for Mayfield residents.
Letchworth, a recently completed new town, has stated that 68% of its residents commute to work. Similar numbers in Mayfields would see thousands of additional cars travelling through Hurstpierpoint and over the Stonepound crossroads, causing traffic gridlock. The development plans have been called “unsustainable” by Sir Nicholas Soames who stated:
“A new town in this area of countryside is totally unsustainable and meets none of the Government’s criteria for ‘garden city’-type developments. We are appalled by the way in which Mayfield Market Towns are trying to upset careful local decision-making by our councils.”
The influx of traffic is set to bring with it unprecedented rises in air pollution. The Stonepound crossroads already has one of the highest air pollution readings in the county. The government has stated that:
“Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, as long-term exposure to air pollution can cause chronic conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer, leading to reduced life expectancy.”
LAMBS are an action group set up to stop Mayfield Market Town’s proposal and consists of residents who live and work in the Albourne, Henfield, Shermanbury, Woodmancote and Wineham area which is being pushed by Mayfield as being suitable for the new town. Similar schemes (though on a different scale) have been looked at over a number of years in this part of West Sussex and have all been considered not viable. Echoing past conclusions, Anthony Watts Williams (LAMBS founder) has asked:
“How could anyone build a town of some 10,000 homes in an area that has no infrastructure, no jobs, is prone to flooding and is miles away from a railway station?”
To find out more on the devastating impact Mayfield Market Town will have on local communities and the Sussex Weald visit: www.lambs.org.uk