District ‘failing’ on housing needs says new market town developer

Sir Nicholas Soames, Mid Sussex MP, and Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, outisde examination hearings looking at Mid Sussex's loca plan (photo submitted). SUS-160612-095800001
Sir Nicholas Soames, Mid Sussex MP, and Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, outisde examination hearings looking at Mid Sussex's loca plan (photo submitted). SUS-160612-095800001

Mid Sussex is ‘failing’ to meet housing requirements and ‘needs help’, a consultant working for promoters of a new market town has suggested.

Public examination of the district council’s local plan, which sets out how many and where houses will be built over the next two decades, by planning inspector Jonathan Bore began last week.

Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames and Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, attended the third day of the hearings on Thursday (December 1).

During the examination QUOD’s John Rhodes, who was representing Mayfield Market Towns which wants to build 10,000 homes near Sayers Common, said parts of the country including Mid Sussex had ‘failed in relation to the obligation to residents’.

He said: “Local authorities in this part of the world will need some help in identifying their responsibilities in terms of proactive action to look a the extent of the need and the extent of the constraints that would prevent that need from being identified.”

Both MPs have opposed Mayfield Market Towns’ proposals, which are not included in the local plan.

Mr Herbert voiced his strong support for neighbourhood plans, adding: “We already have an infrastructure deficit in Mid-Sussex, with for instance local village schools becoming oversubscribed.

“There must be a sensible balance between providing necessary new housing and protecting the integrity of our villages and the Sussex countryside.”

Sir Nicholas added: “Both Nick and I were there to express our support for the council, the elected councillors, and officials for all the hard work that has gone into getting the plan to this stage and express our support for neighbourhood plan making.

“It’s clear it is in the interest of all our constituents that we have got a sound plan to prevent the free for all that the developers are trying to engage in Mid Sussex so they can go on with these terrible speculative development requests.”

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