LETTER: A line has been drawn in the sand

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The District Planning Committee’s decision to refuse the planning application for Penland Farm was a welcome

morale boost for the majority of local people – at last the required “Line in the Sand” was drawn.

Let’s all hope speculative developers get the message - Mid-Sussex is no longer an easy target for their inappropriate plan-busting proposals. Saved policies in our Local Plan 2004 are not out of date and will, in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), be applied.The Penland Farm application simply proposed the wrong development in the wrong place and thankfully this was recognised by the committee. The identified local housing need in Haywards Heath is for older people and start up families. This need can be most sustainably met by brownfield development within the town boundary as proposed by the draft Neighbourhood Plan. The District Plan and the NPPF supports brownfield first development because it is the most sustainable.The focus of national scale developers is inevitably commercial and it is evident that large-scale greenfield development is for them, the most profitable form. They will continue to target our green infrastructure for their proposals until our District and Neighbourhood Plans are adopted. It is for us, the community, to give support to these local plans.

This will ensure adoption at the earliest opportunity and

will help complete the planning policy transition currently

in progress. If we want localism to have real meaning, this

is the way forward. The planning policy loophole must be

closed. Supply of housing to meet the properly identified

need of Haywards Heath, the re-generation of our town, infrastructure rebalance and the preservation of productive green fields for future generations demands it.Our legacy should be a town with character and spirit that our children can be proud of – let’s all give positive support to OUR community. Town and district councillors showed their support for local people on 3 April, it’s now our collective responsibility to return that support – let’s get the new plans adopted. Failure is not an option.

John Clayton

via email.

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