‘Shock & alarm at new Mid Sussex housing bombshell’ reports Mid Sussex Times

The Mid Sussex times has reported on the “shock & alarm” caused by the “bombshell” proposals for thousands of extra houses in the Mid Sussex District revealed by the district council.

“A review of the district plan could allocate new strategic sites for 1,600 homes at Ansty, 1,400 homes west of Burgess Hill and 1,850 homes in Sayers Common.” With 150 houses outside the plan period and four other allocations the total number of houses proposed to be built in Sayers Common is 2,650.

Map showing proposed site allocations in red, with significant new developments proposed in Ansty, Sayers Common and west of Burgess Hill

The Sayers Common development promoter is Mayfield Market Towns LTD.

READ MID SUSSEX TIMES ARTICLE

The Liberal Democrats have provided the following message:

 

Dear All,

On Tuesday 11 January, Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) published proposals that if they go ahead would see a catastrophic 3,800 new houses built in the Hurstpierpoint, Sayers Common and Albourne area.

We’re sorry that this is a long post, but we hope that you agree that this is a serious and complicated matter and likely to raise many questions.

Background

These proposals are part of a review of the District Plan which is the main planning document used by MSDC when considering planning applications. The current plan covers the period to 2031 and includes the strategy, proposed level of development and a number of planning policies. The District Plan Review will extend the plan to 2038. As part of the Review, MSDC have undertaken to identify where an additional 7,029 homes will be built. This will be in addition to the developments already allocated across the whole of Mid Sussex during this period in the current District Plan.

So, what is proposed for our area?

Albourne and Sayers Common

The plans for approximately 2300 new homes will see Albourne and Sayers Common effectively merge. 2300 houses is more than triple the current number of houses in these two small villages. It should also be noted that some of the land is being promoted by Mayfield Market Town who have been pressing to build a ‘new town’ here for many years.

North of Hurstpierpoint

To the north of Hurstpierpoint, 1400 homes are planned in an area between Cuckfield Road, Pomper Lane, Jane Murray Way and Goddards Green. This will be a significant step towards the eventual merger of Hurstpierpoint and Burgess Hill.

In Hurstpierpoint

90 houses have been allocated on land west of Kemps raising concerns about access and traffic onto nearby residential roads which are already congested.

Our reaction

We are incredulous that anyone could think it is fair and proper to allocate over half the houses for the whole of Mid Sussex in one corner of the District.

We think it is a kick in the teeth for everyone here. Over the last ten years our villages have done everything right: followed the rules, made neighbourhood plans, and ensured that hundreds of new homes have been built to try to tackle the housing crisis. Indeed, councillors have often held up Hurstpierpoint as a model for how to engage with the planning system. Today, it seems as though playing by the rules counts for very little.

These astonishing proposals are proof positive that the Conservatives’ planning system at national level is simply broken. The system leaves communities at the mercy of private housing developers.

Liberal Democrats agree that we need more homes, but we want to build them by empowering and funding local authorities and social housing providers who can provide the housing people need – ones that are sustainable and genuinely affordable.

What happens next?

The sites have not been granted planning permission, and this is the start of a long process.

Next week, an initial meeting will be held at MSDC on Wednesday 19th January where a committee of cross-party councillors will be asked to scrutinise these proposals. The meeting can be observed by the public on MSDC’s YouTube Channel.

From there the proposals will go to full Council for approval and then there will be rounds of public consultation, examination by the Planning Inspectorate and eventually the proposals will go to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove. It is anticipated that this will conclude in the middle of 2023.

What we will do as your district councillors

As your Liberal Democrat district councillors, we will be opposing these proposals in whatever way we can in the months and years ahead, and we will do our best to keep you, our residents, fully informed of what is happening at each step.

We are calling on Andrew Griffith MP, Mims Davies MP, County Councillor Joy Dennis and all District Councillors to make it clear that they oppose these catastrophic proposals. We invite all our local politicians to join us in calling on the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, to implement urgent reforms that give power over planning back to communities and local authorities.

Furthermore, we are asking them to renew their opposition to Mayfield Market Town. Our local MPs were both vocal in their opposition to Mayfield during the 2019 General Election campaign, and we hope that their opposition remains.

What you can do

If you would like to read the full MSDC report, it can be found here: https://midsussex.moderngov.co.uk/documents/g2954/Public%20reports%20pack%2019th-Jan-2022%2018.00%20Scrutiny%20Committee%20for%20Housing%20Planning%20and%20Economic%20Grow.pdf?T=10

Later in this process there will be opportunities for the public to formally submit their views in a public consultation. In the meantime, we would encourage you to share your views with your elected representatives. You can check who your MP and councillors are here: www.writetothem.com

If you would like to be added to our email list so that we can keep you up to date about the District Plan Review, then complete the details on this link: https://tinyurl.com/2u3762pb

If you have questions for us, do get in contact directly alison@alisonbennett.co.uk and rodneythjackson@btinternet.com

Thank you,

Councillor Alison Bennett and Councillor Rodney Jackson

Mid Sussex District Council ward members for Hurstpierpoint and Downs

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