LETTER: All residents urged to vote

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Your letters

I would like to thank Mr Adrian Warwick for bringing the subject of the Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan to the attention of readers.

He is, of course, perfectly entitled to express his opinions on what he considers to be the shortcomings of the Neighbourhood Planning process – we live in a democracy after all.

However, I fear he does a disservice to the thousands of residents who live in Haywards Heath when he refers to ‘the general apathy raging in our town’, presumably a jibe at those who do not have strong views either way and who simply enjoy living in a thriving and vibrant community.

No one can deny that the level of residential development in our town in recent years continues to be challenging, and the Town Council has done its utmost to resist proposals that it considered unsuitable and unwelcome.

Looking forward, the Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan, if successful at referendum, will carry significant weight in deciding future development. Not only that, the Plan will protect our green spaces, Clair Hall and the Dolphin Leisure Centre, and will provide for new community facilities such as a country park and additional allotments. I am sure that residents will not want to miss this chance to shape a bright future for the town.

I can assure Mr Warwick that on Thursday, 1st December 2016, ALL eligible residents will be given the opportunity to vote in the Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plan Referendum. Indeed, all households should have received polling cards by now and I urge ALL residents, from ALL parts of town, to turn out and vote an emphatic ‘YES’ in support of the Plan. By doing so, they will ensure that the future of their town is in their hands.

Finally, I would like to point out to Mr Warwick that Haywards Heath Town Council is not the Planning Authority, as this is Mid Sussex District Council and it is the lack of the 5 year land supply across the district of Mid Sussex which has led to successful planning applications. In addition, in noting further comments from Mr Bacon, it is the Mid Sussex District Plan that has taken over 12 years to produce and will dictate the density of housing development and the overarching number for Mid Sussex. This is a separate document which should not be confused with the Neighbourhood Plan.

There is still time to find out more about the Neighbourhood Plan and what it means for the town. Please visit www.haywardsheath.gov.uk or if you are passing the Town Hall, pop in and have a chat with the Town Clerk, Steven Trice.

Cllr DAVID DORKING

Deputy leader of Haywards Heath Town Council, Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group chairman

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