Preparing for appeal to build 50 homes

Residents opposed to proposed new housing off Birchen Way, Haywards Heath. Fields beyond are part of site. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140218-132412001
Residents opposed to proposed new housing off Birchen Way, Haywards Heath. Fields beyond are part of site. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140218-132412001
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Residents are gearing up for controversial plans to build on land to the North of Birchen Fields to go to appeal.

Mid Sussex District Council rejected Crest Nicholso’s plans in April and the appeal will take place this Autumn.

The proposal to build almost 50 houses, received more than 800 letters arguing against the two differing plans submitted by the developers.

But with the Mid-Sussex District Plan, out for consultation until the July 24, and it is hoped the appeal process will not overlook its conclusions.

This is supported by the Town Council’s draft Neighbourhood Plan which also excludes the land from development.

Bob O’Brien, of the Save Birchen Fields Action Group, said residents hoped their voices would be heard, without the financial resources the developer had.

He said: “The District Plan has a clear vision to meet the increasing demand for housing, - putting the right houses in the right places - whilst preserving a valuable part of our heritage and breathing space for future generations.

“Mid Sussex District Planners rejected Crest’s plans for good reason. Development would build over historical fields, create huge traffic problems owing to a single access route, remove any scope to attenuate future flooding, and simply satisfy predatory and opportunistic developers”.

In urging support for the District Plan and rejection by the Appeal Inspector, residents will point to a March letter from the Planning Minister to the Planning Inspectorate that highlights the need for decisions to give weight to emerging Plans.