Wilderness Field

Since the building of the Limes Development, the Society has been pressing for the promised transfer of the Wilderness Field to the ownership of the Parish Council to secure its use for the benefit of the community. The first step in this process, namely the transfer to Mid Sussex District Council, has been unacceptably slow and the fear is that if it is delayed too long it may not happen at all.

Our Chairman has sent the following letter to the Mid Sussex Times to highlight this problem.

Dear sirs,

We are concerned by the behaviour of the developers Barratt Homes in Lindfield. Barratt has been required by planning condition to hold regular meetings with local residents concerning the housing estate they are building at Gravelye Lane. We have been using these meetings to press them on outstanding business from their last project in the village, “The Limes” estate at Newton Road. Barratt has yet to discharge planning conditions attached to this earlier development. Most notably, they have still not transferred ownership of the adjoining Wilderness Field (thus protecting it from further development) to Mid Sussex District Council. A planning condition required them to do this before half of the units were occupied, a point now well in the past. Repeated requests for them to deal with this and other outstanding issues have met a wall of silence since May 2014. This indicates clearly Barratt’s level of respect for the community in which they are operating.

The current situation is also a failure for Mid Sussex District Council, which self-evidently has not proved capable of enforcing its own planning conditions. Barratt’s large, inappropriate developments are being bolted onto the village because a sufficient number of district councillors chose to ignore vigorous local opposition and voted in favour. We call on these councillors to take responsibility for their actions and to ensure at least that planning conditions are respected.

We also urge neighbours of Barratt’s current development to be vigilant about what is happening near them. The precedents are not encouraging.

Yours sincerely,

Gil Kennedy
Lindfield Preservation Society