New Sussex town to cause traffic mayhem in Cowfold

Mayfield Market Town is a proposed new town, roughly the same size as Burgess Hill, on Henfield’s north-eastern border. The plans are set to cause traffic mayhem as new residents travel through Cowfold on the A272. The new Sussex town will encompass 7,000-10,000 dwellings and add up to 14,000 cars to local roads. Cowfold will be the main route for Mayfield residents travelling towards Horsham & Guilford. Residents in the north of the new town will also travel through the village towards Brighton, Worthing, Portsmouth and accessing the A27/M27 and M25. Air pollution readings in the village are already over legal limits during peak times, the development plans are predicted to dramatically deteriorate air quality further still. 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.”

The proposal has unleashed significant opposition from local MPs, Parish & District Councils and local residents, and was deemed “unsustainable” by a Planning Inspector in March 2018, when the latest Mid Sussex Plan was adopted. Sir Nicholas Soames has 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.”

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:

1 Comment

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  1. Linda

    I am writing to object to the Mayfield scheme for many reasons. It would destroy the character that exists in Henfield, people move there to enjoy a rural lifestyle and strong community which would be lost by a town the size of Burgess Hill on the doorstep. Henfield already struggles with traffic problems at busy times and the small roads off the High Street.
    We have moved to a small cottage on the outskirts of Henfield and live on a quiet lane used by horseriders, walkers and cyclists as well as village traffic. We already have to contend with quite a few inconsiderate drivers treating it as a racetrack. There is also the problem of flooding, our lane has been like a river in the recent heavy rain and this would only be exacerbated by a town close by. I think it’s very unlikely that it would be an attractive market town as suggested by the misleading marketing – these take many years to evolve with a wide diversity of housing. In the meantime, everyone in this area is in a state of limbo, our houses are worth less than the market value because of the uncertainty, if we wanted to move away from this scheme we would have to pay stamp duty on another house and personally feel trapped in our later life by the threat of this proposal. To add insult to injury we are having to fundraise to pay to defend our way of life and we have given as much as we can possibly afford towards this.
    As far as I am aware, the developers do not even own all the land they are hoping to develop, though they give the impression they do and they do not seem to have given any consideration as to how people would travel to work, the idea that they would stay in their homes on computers all day is nonsensical. The road through Hurstpierpoint to Hassocks station is already very difficult to negotiate and there really is no solution to this. Obviously it is important to provide sustainable affordable housing for young people in particular but I do not think this is the right area.
    The impact on the environment and wildlife is another very important objection and this has been covered in detail by other posts.

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