Fox Hill residents fight for homes ‘under attack’

From left: Suzanne Nash, Frances Wallace, Steve Nash, Portia Smith, Andrew Smith, Patricia Warwick, Brian High, Adrian Warwick and Gav Vansul
From left: Suzanne Nash, Frances Wallace, Steve Nash, Portia Smith, Andrew Smith, Patricia Warwick, Brian High, Adrian Warwick and Gav Vansul

Plans to build 151 new homes in Fox Hill Village has sparked a campaign from unhappy residents, who say their homes are ‘once again under attack’.

Linden Homes submitted the application last month, following approval of 99 homes last year.

Adrian Warwick, 80, has lived in the village for 42 years and is a member of the campaign group. He said: “For the third time in as many years the long suffering residents surrounding this beautiful greenfield corner of Haywards Heath are having to defend their homes, lives and views, which are once again under attack, from yet another speculative developer working in conjunction with the council.

“And this time an even larger proposal compared to the original 40 homes. With each increase we witness a reduction in the quality of homes on offer, which are totally out of character, even to the extent of having now to contend with the prospect of three-storey blocks of flats, some of which will look down over existing homes belonging to long retired and frail occupiers with no satisfactory means of protecting their lost privacy.”

The outline approval for 99 homes was granted by Mid Sussex District Council’s planning committee in February last year, despite concerns over flooding, traffic, and the effect on an area of countryside outside of the town.

Officers argued that since the council was without an up to date district wide plan, the benefits of the scheme outweighed the harm.

The proposed site is to the rear of The Fox and Hounds pub and 30 per cent of the homes would be affordable, along with landscaping, open space and parking.

A public right of way passes across the site leading south-west towards Burgess Hill.

The retired 80-year-old previously helped submit a petition opposing the 99 home proposal, which gained 512 signatures and says he has not found a single person in the area who has ‘agreed’ with the latest plans.

“This is a totally disproportionate imposition on us southerners and in particular Gamblemead, which has the longest boundary of longstanding residents having to adjust to a changed view for the rest of their lives,” he added.

Fifty households, for the first time, have been asked to offer their views by March 3.

Councillor Andrew MacNaughton, cabinet member for planning, said: “When considering any application we take on board a range of comments, including from residents. We will review all comments in relation to this application, as we do for all applications.”

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