Mid Sussex District Council has published its draft District Plan for public consultation. The District Plan will be the council’s main planning document, identifying sites for housing development over the next 16 years. This will be our only opportunity to comment on the plan before the council submits it to the Government Planning Inspectorate for examination. The draft contains significant housing projections for Lindfield: 150 additional dwellings at Gravelye Lane and 50 at Portsmouth Wood Close, which would add 480 residents and 270 cars (in addition to the population growth described below).
In addition, council planners have considered a swathe of large sites stretching from the east around to the north of the village and have declared them “not currently developable” (see maps via links below). Developers and landowners are, however, actively promoting all but one of these sites.
If you are opposed to the further urbanisation of Lindfield, please register your objections with Mid Sussex District Council before the consultation period ends on July 24, 2015.
Please note that objections must be based on objective planning considerations. You may find the following points useful when formulating your comments:
1) Large developments already permitted at Newton Road and Gravelye Lane will swell our population by 1,000, an increase of nearly 20%. This will put nearly 600 more cars onto our roads (figures based on West Sussex County Council population data). Lindfield has already been compelled to accept a level of expansion that is clearly disproportionate to its size and to the capacity of its infrastructure (in particular, roads, educational and health care facilities). Clearly, further large-scale development would add significantly to the erosion of the village’s character and infrastructure.
2) Mid Sussex District Council needs to identify sites for new housing. But a general housing need surely cannot be used to justify building in unsuitable locations. No community should be sacrificed for the sake of making up a housing number.
3) The new sites projected at Gravelye Lane and Portsmouth Wood Close should therefore be removed from the draft District Plan. The sites to the east and north, designated at present as “currently” unsuitable for development, should be excluded categorically. Especially following the current wave of building, the principle governing future construction should be small-scale development only, within the built up area, in order to meet local housing needs and protect the character of the community. Further encroachment on the green fields around the village should be expressly ruled out.
You can also comment on line at the website above or post your remarks to Planning Policy and Economic Development at Mid Sussex District
Council, to arrive by 24 July 2015.
You can view the draft District Plan online at: http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/districtplan
To see the District Council’s maps and assessment of the possible sites in Lindfield go to the Strategic Land Availability Assessment: http://www.midsussex.gov.uk/8307.htm and select the Parish Chapter, Assessed Site Map or Excluded Site Map under Lindfield and Lindfield Rural.