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Michael Brown - CPRE Sussex
Michael Brown

Michael Brown

Mid Sussex’s new District Plan is now operational.  This update looks at the early stages of its implementation. There have been some early and interesting decisions. 

I attended this morning's meeting (9th Jan 2018) in Chichester of the WSCC Planning Committee that considered Cuadrilla's renewed application to be allowed to flow test the existing exploratory well at Balcombe over a six week period during the course of the next two years.

Cuadrilla's inaccurately described "fracking" at Balcombe has achieved a lot of publicity in recent years.

CPRE Sussex has been actively involved at all stages of the development of a new minerals plan for West Sussex being that is in the course of preparation as a joint exercise between West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA).  Our participation has been important because of the extent to which mineral reserves within the county underlie specially designated areas of our countryside, including the South Downs National Park and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). 

The new strategic plan will run from 2018 - 2033, and will identify sites that are being used or that need protecting from alternative development fora range of hard minerals.  It will also identify the planning criteria that will determine the authorities' approach to applications to explore for and exploit subterranean oil and gas deposits within the Plan area.

Thursday, 16 November 2017 18:18

Mid Sussex Update – Winter 2017

The principal focus of our work in Mid Sussex has continued to relate to the new draft District Plan, the details of which we reported in our July update and by letter to all CPRE members living in Mid Sussex.  It is a draft Plan which intends to require new homes to be built at a rate of 876 dwellings p.a., a rate which the District has never consistently achieved before, and it is set to rise still further (to 1,090 dpa) from 2024.   The challenge of finding sustainable locations for this massive hike in new building without ruining the prized rural character of Mid Sussex is going to be a formidable one.  It will put huge pressure on the District Council (MSDC) to give proper weight to the environmental and countryside protections that planning rules purport to offer when assessing site allocations and planning applications.  The role of CPRE has never been more important.

Mid Sussex's new District Plan has at last got through its public examination phase and taken a significant step forward towards implementation.  CPRE Sussex took an active part throughout the 9 months of the public examination period, pressing the case for a more appropriate balance to be drawn between the drive for new housing and the District’s special environmental and landscape character. We found ourselves fighting not only the developers but sadly also the Council.

The public examination of the draft District Plan prepared by Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) rumbles on with a further two days of hearings on housing-related matters convened for late July.

Thursday, 23 February 2017 11:31

Letter to all CPRE members in Mid Sussex

On behalf of CPRE may we thank all those of you who responded so generously to our plea last autumn for funds to support our ongoing countryside protection work across Sussex.

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.

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