Lindfield Preservation Society says village is being ‘sacrificed’ to housing in local plan

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Lindfield residents are calling on others to object to Mid Sussex District Council’s draft District Plan before public consultation ends on July 24.

The Mid Sussex District Council has published its draft District Plan for public consultation. The District Plan will be the council’s main planning document, identifying sites for housing development over the next 16 years.

Gil Kennedy, chairman of the Lindfield Preservation Society, said is warning the community this is its only opportunity to comment on the plan before the council submits it to the Government Planning Inspectorate for examination.

He said it contains ‘significant housing projections’ for Lindfield: 150 additional dwellings at Gravelye Lane and 50 at Portsmouth Wood Close, which would add 480 residents and 270 cars.

He added some examples he would use: “Large developments already permitted at Newton Road and Gravelye Lane will swell our population by 1,000, an increase of nearly 20%.

“This will put nearly 600 more cars onto our roads.

“Lindfield has already been compelled to accept a level of expansion that is clearly disproportionate to its size and to the capacity of its infrastructure.

“Further large-scale development would add significantly to the erosion of the village’s character and infrastructure. The draft plan takes no account of this.

“Mid Sussex District Council needs to identify sites for new housing. But a general housing need surely cannot be used to justify building in unsuitable locations. No community should be sacrificed for the sake of making up a housing number.”

Mr Kennedy proposed the new sites projected at Gravelye Lane and Portsmouth Wood Close should be removed from the draft District Plan and the sites around the village, designated as ‘currently’ unsuitable for development, should be excluded.

“Especially following the current wave of building, the principle governing future construction should be small-scale development only, within the built up area, in order to meet local housing needs and protect the character of the community. Further encroachment on the green fields around the village should be expressly ruled out.”

View the draft District Plan online at www.midsussex.gov.uk/districtplan or at the Parish Council office.