Protests may fail to halt building of 200 new homes

Residents at Walstead protest at plans to build 200 houses near their homes SUS-160504-144951001
Residents at Walstead protest at plans to build 200 houses near their homes SUS-160504-144951001

Plans by developers to build 200 homes on land in Lindfield may get the go-ahead at a meeting on Thursday- despite wide opposition from local residents.

Wates Development wants to build the new houses, along with a new primary school and country park on land to the south of Scamps Hill.

But a torrent of objections have already been put forward by people living nearby, along with nearby parish councils and the Lindfield Preservation Society.

They say the homes are not needed and the village infrastructure could not cope with the development - and they fear the village would be destroyed.

However, initial planning consent is being sought at a meeting on Thursday (April 7) of Mid Sussex District Council’s Planning Committee - and officers are recommending that it should go ahead.

Wates tried to address residents’ fears at a public meeting held in Lindfield in January when more than 300 angry objectors put forward their views.

This week local farm owner Tony Filmer, of Little Walstead Farm, said he feared the development would mean “the end of the tiny hamlet of Walstead.”

He said the development area, although described as south of Scamps Hill, was right in the middle of Walstead.

“We are a tiny hamlet and we will go from 40 houses to 240 houses.

“It will be the end of the hamlet - we’ll be just another part of Haywards Heath,” he said.

Walstead residents, who say they have suffered for three years with noise from the building of another 230 homes nearby, now fear they will face yet more years of disturbance if the proposals are approved by planners.

Lindfield Preservation Society says it had already been found that the site had a low ‘suitability for development.’

And, it said, the development would encroach singnificantly on the countryside and erode wildlife, with dormice, particularly, being under threat.

It also maintains that the proposal is contrary to the Neighbourhood Plan; significantly more traffic would be generated leading to congestion and pollution.

Mid Sussex District Council says if outline planning permission is granted, further details over the types of housing provided would be considered at a later stage.