Mid Sussex District Update August 2020

4th August 2020

CPRE’s work in Mid Sussex April – July 2020.

On 3rd August Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) launched for public consultation what is called its “pre-submission” draft of its proposed Sites Allocation Development Plan Document (DPD).  This is an important part of the planning process that underpins MSDC’s obligation under its 2014-2031 District Plan to deliver at least 16,390 additional new homes over the life of the Plan and additional employment space.  The main purpose of the forthcoming DPD is the allocate further specific sites that, if developed, would enable MSDC to demonstrate that it can honour its current housing and new business space targets, which is something that (like it or not) MSDC has to be able to show that it can do.

The draft DPD being consulted on can be viewed on MSDC’s website at: https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/planning-building/development-plan-documents.  The consultation period will run for 8 weeks until 28th September.   CPRE will of course be reviewing the document and providing MSDC with its views.  (Our views on an earlier draft of the DPD are summarised on the CPRE Sussex website at https://www.cpresussex.org.uk/news/cpre-sussex-responds-to-the-mid-sussex-sites-allocation-dpd-consultation).

We would encourage all CPRE members with views on MSDC’s latest proposals to respond to the consultation, and we would welcome hearing from local members with their views and concerns.  The significance of this “pre-submission” draft is that (subject to any final thoughts of the Council) this draft is the one that MSDC will be seeking to persuade the Planning Inspectorate to approve for adoption, and all public representations on this draft are forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate to consider as part of the DPD’s public examination some time next year.

We are pleased that our previous representations have succeeded in persuading MSDC to reduce the size of its proposed allocation of a housing site within the High Weald AONB on the edge of Ardingly, albeit not by enough.  Other concerns of ours remain to be argued over.

This DPD also needs to be viewed in the context of the fact that MSDC is required to review the continuing currency of its District Plan with effect from 2023. It is very unclear at this stage whether that review is likely to lead to changes in the District housing target or other policies such as MSDC’s role in meeting the climate change emergency.

On other fronts we continue to monitor planning applications and challenge those where we consider that there is an issue of principle or significance to the countryside issues that CPRE campaigns on, and we continue to liaise with Homes England on maximising the environmental opportunities presented by the major Burgess Hill Northern Arc development.