‘Disappointed’ Haywards Heath residents saw plans for 99 new homes branded ‘another Legoland development’ approved by the council.
Outline approval for land to the west of Fox Hill was granted by Mid Sussex District Council’s district planning committee last Thursday despite concerns over flooding, traffic, and the effect on an area of countryside outside of the town.
But officers argued that since the council was without an up to date district wide plan, the benefits of the scheme outweighed the harm.
Roger Brocklehurst, speaking against the application, said it opened the door for more housebuilding in the strategic gap between Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill.
He added: “We look to you our elected councillors to reject this unsuitable and inappropriate application for yet another Legoland development in this part of town.”
Adrian Warwick, who lives in Fox Hill Village, added: “You have already abused us enough with your disproportionate desecration of this part of our town and it is our town, you disrespect us the more if you approve this application. It is time for you to look elsewhere.”
Tim Rodway, a planning consultant acting for developers Fairfax, said: “There are significant benefits offered by the proposed development.”
These included flashing speed limit signs, new bus stop facilities, an improved pedestrian crossing, and extending the speed limit further down Fox Hill.
Officers explained that although the site was in the strategic gap the piece of land was ‘so well enclosed’ it would not have a significant effect on coalescence of the two towns.
David Dorking (Con, Haywards Heath - Bentswood) said the 30 per cent affordable housing was a positive as the town had a ‘definite need’ and described it as one of the lowest density developments he had ever seen.
But Phillip Coote (Con, Crawley Down and Turners Hill) added: “We have to have development. It’s a shame our plan is not up and running yet.
“If it was we would have some protection against this.”
Meanwhile Colin Trumble (Con, Hurstpierpoint and Downs) asked why anyone would pretend people in the new development would cycle or walk into town ‘when they know damn well they are going to use cars’.
After the meeting residents spoke of their ‘disappointment’ at the decision.
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