In last week’s edition you publish a report that a new 10,000 house town near Henfield and Wineham that is being promoted by developers, Mayfield Market Towns Ltd, would destroy the habitat of an important barn owl population.
The would-be developers claim that the real issue is whether their new town there would provide a better solution to delivering much needed new housing for local people. This claim perpetuates two myths - firstly, that there is an accepted local need for a new town on the southern borders of Horsham and Mid Sussex, and secondly that its proposed location is suitable and sustainable.
Neither is true. Both Horsham and Mid Sussex District Councils are in advanced stages of developing long term plans for their Districts: neither of their plans calls for any new market town to meet their Districts’ housing needs. As to location, it is difficult to envisage somewhere less suited to a mega-development than the lovely open countryside around Wineham with no significant local unemployment, with no road, rail or other infrastructure, and on low lying fields prone to flooding from the Adur. Not to mention the barn owls, nightingales and other wonderful wildlife.
We challenge Mayfield to publish the ecological and flood reports that it claims to have commissioned so that we can all judge for ourselves.
Trustee, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Sussex Branch