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Michael Brown - CPRE Sussex
Michael Brown

Michael Brown

After some evident hesitation on the part of the Planning Inspectorate (PI), the public examination has started into the housing policies proposed by the District Council in their draft District Plan. MSDC has calculated the District’s need for new housing during the period 2014 – 2031 at 13,536 new homes, and planned to overcome PI criticism of its previously inadequate co-operation with neighbouring authorities by offering to build 864 homes towards the needs of Crawley BC which, like a number of adjacent districts, is unable to meet its own housing needs. To meet this need the draft Plan therefore envisages new houses being built at a rate of 800 p.a. throughout the Plan period – MSDC’s annual housing target.

After some evident hesitation on the part of the Planning Inspectorate (PI), the public examination has started into the housing policies proposed by the District Council in their draft District Plan. MSDC has calculated the District’s need for new housing during the period 2014 – 2031 at 13,536 new homes, and planned to overcome PI criticism of its previously inadequate co-operation with neighbouring authorities by offering to build 864 homes towards the needs of Crawley BC which, like a number of adjacent districts, is unable to meet its own housing needs. To meet this need the draft Plan therefore envisages new houses being built at a rate of 800 p.a. throughout the Plan period – MSDC’s annual housing target.

Alarm bells should ring about the latest planning appeal decision made by the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government who has allowed a proposed 40 posh home development to proceed at Birchin Fields in the fast diminishing green gap between Haywards Heath and Lindfield.

Alarm bells should ring about the latest planning appeal decision made by the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government who has allowed a proposed 40 posh home development to proceed at Birchin Fields in the fast diminishing green gap between Haywards Heath and Lindfield.

There has been no public progress on finalising MSDC’s District Plan to the point where it can be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for public examination.  Submission was originally due in September 2015, but has been repeatedly delayed with no public explanation, and with no minuted discussion at Council scrutiny or cabinet level.  The officer responsible for the delivery of the Plan left the Council in May.  All deeply disturbing and wholly unsatisfactory.

The District Council has again deferred submitting its draft District Plan to the Planning Inspectorate for public examination.  Late substantive amendments to its proposals significantly to increase the District’s housing target and to allocate for a 600 home development a site within the High Weald AONB near to Pease Pottage – a site that the Council itself had described last summer as “very unsuitable” for housing – have proved to be very controversial.  We await the submission version of the draft Plan with mixed interest and trepidation.  Meanwhile, MSDC’s Head of Economic and Planning has announced that she is leaving.

If, by the time that you finish reading this note, you end up confused as to the significance that Government and its Planning Inspectorate dogsbody attach to adopted neighbourhood plans (NPs) when it comes to deciding planning applications that don’t coincide with the NP, then you will be in the same boat as the author: so please don’t shoot the messenger.

The current Government, and its predecessor, have laid great public store on offering local communities a greater say in the planning of their towns and villages to suit and shape their local needs.  A locally crafted neighbourhood plan is the vehicle by which local communities can express the way in which their area should be developed to meet their particular needs in the years ahead. 

Friday, 29 January 2016 09:41

Mid Sussex update: Jan 2016

The most significant story is the painfully rumbling saga of the District Council’s flailing attempts to pin down a draft of its new long term District Plan (it will run until 2031) that is fit to present to the Planning Inspectorate for public examination.  We report separately below on the latest position, and on the representations that CPRE Sussex has made to the Council on the most recent changes that it has proposed to its draft plan.  We remain deeply unhappy with key aspects of that draft Plan.  It is too important and will be too long-lasting for it to be wrong.

Mid Sussex update (January 2016)

The most significant story is the painfully rumbling saga of the District Council’s flailing attempts to pin down a draft of its new long term District Plan (it will run until 2031) that is fit to present to the Planning Inspectorate for public examination.  We report separately below on the latest position, and on the representations that CPRE Sussex has made to the Council on the most recent changes that it has proposed to its draft plan.  We remain deeply unhappy with key aspects of that draft Plan.  It is too important and will be too longlasting for it to be wrong.

Mid Sussex update (January 2016)

The most significant story is the painfully rumbling saga of the District Council’s flailing attempts to pin down a draft of its new long term District Plan (it will run until 2031) that is fit to present to the Planning Inspectorate for public examination.  We report separately below on the latest position, and on the representations that CPRE Sussex has made to the Council on the most recent changes that it has proposed to its draft plan.  We remain deeply unhappy with key aspects of that draft Plan.  It is too important and will be too longlasting for it to be wrong.

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