Updated with local press link, 1st May.
In Horsham District, the infection persists. Their Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA), January 2019, reads as follows (page 52):
This site has evolved from an area initially identified as a broad location of search following the publication of the 2010 New Market Town Study, commissioned jointly by Crawley Borough Council (CBC), Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) and Horsham District Council (HDC). The developer has previously expressed a preferred approach for a development of up to 10,000 dwellings on land in both Horsham and Mid Sussex administrative areas. However, within HDC a development of up to 6,120 dwellings together with associated infrastructure is currently being proposed for consideration. The site falls in Woodmancote, Shermanbury and Henfield parish areas.
The site is in multiple land ownership, which may affect deliverability. Landowner interest in developing the whole site would therefore need to be carefully tested. There would also be a need for cross boundary working, with MSDC and with West Sussex County Council.
The site has a range of environmental and infrastructure constraints including an area of flood risk which would require mitigation. If developed, the site would need to create its own social, economic, transport and utilities infrastructure. Improved connectivity to the trunk road and rail network (which is some distance away) would also need to be carefully considered. Any major development would also need to take account of the retail viability of existing settlements such as Henfield. Unless allocated for development through the review of the Horsham District Planning Framework (HDPF) it is considered development would be contrary to Policies 1 to 4 and 26 of the HDPF and potentially other policies relating to the constraints of the site. It is therefore assessed as ‘Not Currently Developable’.
Today (May 9th) .. the deadline passes for any legal challenges on the newly adopted [Mid Sussex] District Plan. Mayfield Market Towns had until today to launch a legal challenge following the Plan’s adoption on March 28th. The statutory six week period allows unsuccessful developers like MMT to find ways to challenge a District Plan in accordance with Section 113 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. However, with no challenges submitted, the Plan is now set in stone and MMT is effectively ‘locked out’ of the District.
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.