The leader of Mid Sussex District Council, Garry Wall (Con, Haywards Heath Franklands), has written to the chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate to make a formal complaint.
Mr Wall informs Sir Michael Pitt that the findings of the Government Inspector David Hogger, who rejected the District Plan on the grounds the council had not met its Duty to Co-operate with neighbouring authorities, was now ‘causing significant distress in the district’.
“Our community is feeling vulnerable to speculative developers and our residents are losing confidence in the Government’s commitment to localism,” writes Mr Wall.
He states Neighbourhood Plans are being undermined by the decision and also questions the consistency of approach by various Inspectors working across the region.
Mr Wall adds: “The stance taken by Mid Sussex in its discussions with neighbouring councils is that it is not able to accommodate any of their unmet housing needs.
“We believe this is a reasonable one given our constraints (60% of the area is either AONB or National Park and the district is also constrained by the Habitats Directive due to the adjacent Ashdown Forest SPA).”
The leader calls for a face-to-face meeting with the Inspector Mr Hoggart, before finishing: “In conclusion, this Council believes that the Inspector’s decision was erroneous and has created a substantial obstacle in our moving forward.
“Consequently, I would be grateful if you could treat this letter as a formal complaint incorporating formal requests for feedback and support from PlNs as outlined above.”
For more on this story see next Thursday’s Middy (January 30, 2014)
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