Haywards Heath town council object to Birchen Fields plan

Land off Birchen Way, Haywards Heath. Proposed site for housing. Pic Steve Robards ENGSUS00120140502105005
Land off Birchen Way, Haywards Heath. Proposed site for housing. Pic Steve Robards ENGSUS00120140502105005

Controversial plans to build on Medieval woodland have been rejected by town councillors.

A planning application to build 48 homes on land north of Birchen Fields in Haywards Heath has been submitted to Mid Sussex District Council.

However town councillors voted to object to the plans, arguing that the proposals do not constitute ‘sustainable development’.

A spokesman for the council said: “Haywards Heath Town Council objected to an application for the development of up to 48 dwellings on Birchen Fields, as the land is an area of green space which is vital for protecting the rural setting of Haywards Heath, provides an important ecological corridor and acts as a buffer to assist with the avoidance of unwanted coalescence with the neighbouring parish.

“In the council’s view, the proposed development is not a well planned or sustainable development and will have a detrimental effect on the amenity of existing residents.”

Lindfield Parish Council has also objected to the plans, arguing the green corridor earmarked for the development will be ‘destroyed’, with a ‘valued landscape lost forever’.

The letter states: “The proposals will not maintain or enhance the quality of the rural character of the district at the fringes of Lindfield, and the High Weald Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty to thenorth of the site. “

The council argued the development will ‘impinge’ on the character and the setting for the Grade II Listed building at Sunte House.

The application has already received dozens of letters of objection from residents – with a campaign group Birchen Fields Action Group encouraging residents to comment on the application.

Developers Crest Nicholson submitted the plans in December – 11 months after the developers’ first bid for new homes on the land.

District councillors will vote on the plans by the end of March.