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Mayfield: A response to Horsham District Council’s District Planning Framework

Wednesday, 06 August 2014 13:37

CPRE Sussex Trustee Dr Roger F Smith joined the many voices responding to Horsham District Council's Horsham District Planning Framework with statement issued to the West Sussex County Times.

Dr Roger F Smith speaking for CPRE Sussex-Horsham District said:

“Mayfield Market Towns’ (MMTs) submission in response to HDC’s Horsham District Planning Framework is a significant step in their attempt to gain approval for their proposed new town.

To justify their monstrous proposal they are seeking to convince the Planning Inspectorate that a house-building target of at least 20,000 new houses – far in excess of the 13,000 considered to be just-about-sustainable by Horsham District Council – be imposed on the District.

The threat posed by MMTs is therefore very real, and it is not confined solely to the area targeted for their new town. This is because 15,000 of the of the 20,000 houses would be built on countryside elsewhere in Horsham District, including north of Horsham and Southwater and perhaps Billingshurst, Henfield and Storrington, too – though MMTs is also pressing for a new settlement of 5000 at an unspecified location elsewhere in Horsham District.

Doubtless MMTs and the other developers who are also seeking to impose huge house-building targets on the District are doing so in the belief that the Planning Inspectorate will decide in their favour – and that public opinion and opposition will probably count for nothing in the decision-making process.

Cynicism and concerns about the quality of decision-making is understandable and for good reason - because the planning system often seems to be skewed in favour of developers. It is vital therefore that all who are concerned for the future of our District, the countryside and the natural environment, ensure that elected representatives – MPs and District Councillors – are fully aware that the outcome of the forthcoming Examination in Public (EiP) of the Horsham District Planning Framework and the unprecedented threat to the District’s countryside is of major consequence and that the house-building targets now being pressed for by developers are excessive and unacceptable.

It is essential, too, that all organisations and action groups formed to defend communities against inappropriate and harmful development challenge the huge targets at the EiP. And, the don’t-build-in-my-backyard build-in-someone-else’s approach favoured by some will play into the hands of developers, so best not employ it”.  

West Sussex County Times printed an article based on the resonse which can be downloaded below.



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