LETTER: Overall total 58 Total remaining 58

This is for 58 housing units proposed for the site, not a supermarket.

Sunday, 10th July 2016, 10:00 am
Your letters

As far as I know once voted on, a neighbourhood plan is set in stone within a period of five years, and a change of use for an allocated site from C3 housing, to A1 retail should not be permitted.

What is the use of the people in a town voting to accept a plan, only to have the district council almost immediately overrule them? The vote by the people of Burgess Hill, was a legal endorsement of the plan, and is therefore not the subject of arbitrary alteration at the whim of the District Council.

It can be assumed that the Mid Sussex District councillors made this recommendation as result of advice from the permanent officers of the district council. As a result, and as a fist step, if anyone wants to query this, is to request from the district council under the Freedom of Information Act, exactly how the permanent officers interpreted the law when making this recommendation.

This has serious ramifications for all the neighbourhood plans in the UK, and as such the decision should be subject to a legal challenge by anyone objecting to it.

Another avenue would be to ask Nicholas Soames to refer the matter to the Department for Communities and Local Government, or to the Local Government Ombudsman for a judicial review. After a vote is taken on a Neighbourhood Plan that plan becomes a legal document. If it turns out that district councils can arbitrarily change the structure of a neighbourhood plan, then every town and parish in the country are simply wasting their time.

Don McBeth

Ditchling Common, Ditchling


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