Days 9 and 10 of the Examination of the Mid Sussex District Plan have taken place this week and we have reason to be optimistic that Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) will soon have a housing plan in place. During the course of the Hearing, Mayfield Market Towns (MMT) did all they could (including inaccurate advertising which is still under review by the Advertising Standards Authority) to suggest that the plan was not sound. However, the Inspector looks like he is intending to approve the plan. MMT have done everything they can to force specific engagement with the Coastal Councils, and to force MSDC alone to commit to solve their unmet housing needs. The Inspector, as at Horsham, has stated that MSDC should not have to do more than work with them on a sub-regional plan. MMT consistently tried to argue that the requirement for MSDC should be well over 1,000, or more, dwellings per year immediately. It is not. MMT finally sought an early review (2019/20) of the Plan to try and force their plan on the Council, but this will not happen. Subject to the Inspector’s requested revisions on the Plan, we believe the outcome is as good as we could have hoped for, giving MMT little leverage. There will be no early review and the Inspector acknowledged that a different set of economic conditions (if applicable) could be used for the review in 5 years. The initial requirement is under 900 dwellings per year, when we believe that to make MMT even start to figure in Council thinking the requirement needs to be over 1,100 (even if this is still very high and arises from MSDC taking lots of other Councils’ unmet needs). Brighton remains a separate housing market assessment (HMA), with no specific obligations on MSDC to assist any more than any other District Council.
Mayfield Market Towns, which is promoting a new settlement near Sayers Common, has released the results of an independent poll of Mid Sussex and Horsham residents where 69 per cent of respondents backed 10,000 new homes in one location rather than development scattered across the district on the fringes of other towns and villages. [Mid Sussex Times]
You may have recently seen an apparently ‘independent’ opinion poll from Mayfield Market Towns (MMT). In reality, this poll is not independent, something admitted on page 4 which reveals that the questionnaire was designed by ICM Unlimited in collaboration with Mayfields and Meeting Place Communications. MMT Director, Lee Newlyn is married to Meeting Place Director, Anna Sabine-Newlyn. LAMBS received a number of angry responses in November 2016 while the ‘poll’ was being conducted.
This is the second occasion on which these seedy rent-seeking shysters have resorted to push polling. Click the new Mayfield logo (above) to see the West Sussex County Times report on the 2014 episode.
See also MMT Masterplan down the Pan at the LAMBS website.
Both Nick Herbert MP and Sir Nicholas Soames MP will be attending the meeting in Haywards Heath this Friday, January 13th.
Sir Nicolas Soames recently noted in Parliament:
The hon. Friend the Minister knows of the infamous application by Mayfield Market Towns to build a completely unwanted new settlement to the south of my constituency and partially in the constituency of my right hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs [Nick Herbert]. It has been turned down time after time. No one wants it and it is not in any plan, yet the builders continue to chip away at the fabric, integrity and credibility of the plans.
The West Sussex County Times reports:
Robert Worsley, who refused to sell his 550 acres in Twineham to Mayfield Market Towns, is due to .. publicly challenge the developers over their refusal to accept that they cannot build on his land. He explained that he is so frustrated about the injustices of the planning system he wants to appeal directly to the Government’s planning inspector at the examination.
Updated 12th January.
Jonathan Bore, who began public scrutiny of Mid Sussex District Council’s planning framework on Tuesday, previously worked for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. There he worked with Lady Borwick, now MP for the area, when she was a councillor and met her husband Lord Borwick, a director of Mayfield Market Towns, which is looking to build 10,000 new homes near Sayers Common. Speaking at the start of the hearing on Tuesday, Mr Bore said: “I occasionally saw Lord Borwick at formal occasions, but I never discussed planning issues with him. None of this has any bearing on my impartiality.”
See also: Government Local Plans Expert insults Sussex Councils [PDF].
The Mid Sussex District Plan Examination Hearing Sessions begins on Tuesday, 29th November. It is anticipated to take three days .. Last week, Mayfields sent a letter to all Mid Sussex District and Parish councillors encouraging them to make the choice to support their new town which patently undermines the Neighbourhood plans already in place.
Click the image to read the full letter.