Inspector’s view on new market town plans a ‘triumph of common sense’

JPCT 130614 S14250376x Twineham. LAMBS campaigners protest against South Downs development.   -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140613-165838001
JPCT 130614 S14250376x Twineham. LAMBS campaigners protest against South Downs development. -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-140613-165838001

Campaigners against a new market town have celebrated a report which appears to rule out a proposed settlement between Henfield and Sayers Common.

Mayfield Market Towns has been promoting the 10,000-home scheme since 2012, but it has not been included in either Horsham District Council or Mid Sussex District Council’s local plans.

HDC’s plan was rubber stamped by planning inspector Geoff Salter last week, who said in his final report that MMT’s proposal ‘is not required in current circumstances’.

Mr Salter raised significant concerns about the sustainability of the location due to its distance from railway services and the strategic road network.

Locals Against Mayfield Building Sprawl (LAMBS) has been campaigning against proposals.

Jane Watson, a spokesperson for LAMBS, said: “The inspector’s verdict is a triumph of common sense. Mayfield Market Towns has always been universally unpopular because people for miles around can see what a ridiculous proposal it is – it would be madness to build a new town at this location, for so many reasons.”

She called on MMT to give up and cease promoting the scheme.

The plan is expected to be ratified by HDC’s Full Council in November.

However Mr Salter did stipulate that the plan be subject to an early review to identify areas of housing needed to meet the increased requirement of 800 homes a year up to 2031.

His report said it would be ‘premature’ to rule out in principle any potential for a new settlement, but suggested that this need not be at the location proposed by MMT.

It continues: “What is clear however is that such an option would have to evolve through cooperation and consultation amongst the local planning authorities and all the local communities involved.”

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