LETTER: Where is the town planning?
I refer to Cllr Mike Pulfer's, leader of Haywards Heath Town Council, letter of October 20 and his comment that the Neighbourhood Plan '˜holds the future of Haywards Heath and without it the townsfolk lose control of its destiny'.
For many residents the town has lost control of its destiny, so this warning appears a little late. It was not ratepayers who failed to produce a local plan for the past 12 years that has led to this unprecedented build. The green fields give the town its rural character and make it a pleasant place to live. How much greenery and wildlife will there be in 20 years time?
This long awaited document may tick the boxes of what is required by Government in terms of coverage and contents for the district planning process, but it provides no ‘vision’ as to the final layout for our town. I also doubt that it will prevent further development in the northern part of the town, as the Plan crawls along its bureaucratic route.
What is the revised ‘build figure’ for this town and the district? How much of that figure has already been achieved? How many people will be using the town and its facilities, once the build for the town plus the villages of Lindfield, Ansty, Cuckfield and Ardingly are all completed? Where will they all park? What is the true scale of density as more flats appear on the horizon? Recently a development for 99 homes was expanded to include a 133 (34 per cent increase on the original approved application) is this going to be the norm. This is a rural district therefore the number of flats and density of build should be low, to compensate for the loss of green space. It would seem the only preoccupation of the council is to deliver on numbers- at whatever cost (the new flats on the town’s one-way system is a good example) and everything else is secondary- including the infrastructure. So my question remains ‘Whatever happened to town planning’?
Gander Hill, Haywards Heath
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