Permisson for new homes in Lindfield ‘sends wrong message’

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Claps were heard from the public gallery at a district planning meeting yesterday (September 7), as residents and councillors hit out on plans for 43 new homes to be built in Lindfield.

Despite pleas from residents and councillors, outline permission was granted for the new homes – five votes to two – by Mid Sussex District Council’s District Planning Committee.

Previous applications on this site have been refused, there will be loss of trees and vegetation, which is unacceptable.

Councillor Christopher Hersey

The application for the one, two, three, four and five bedroom homes to the east of High Beech Lane, includes 14 affordable homes and three self-build plots. Access was all that needed to be considered by the committee, with all other matters reserved, such as the appearance of the homes.

Residents had concerns over infrastructure, loss of vegetation, traffic and flooding.

Speaking against the application, councillor Margaret Hersey, who spoke as a resident, said: “This application is not sustainable – services will not be accessible.

“Infrastructure has not been taken into account – schools and doctors surgeries are already over capacity.”

One resident said there would be a ‘significant impact on road safety’.

“This will only exacerbate traffic problems,” he said.

“The application is not protecting the rural character and it is not sending the right message across the district.”

Councillor Ginny Heard said she had ‘real concerns’ over the site.

“There will be significant impact to the character. I am having a real problem supporting this application,” she said.

Councillor Christopher Hersey said the application was ‘unacceptable’.

“Previous applications on this site have been refused, there will be loss of trees and vegetation, which is unacceptable,” he said.

“If we put an entrance here, all of this will be savaged. It will be sending the wrong message.”

Planning officers argued that the benefits of the development significanly outweighed the diverse impacts and that the development would make a ‘positive contribution’.

“It is recognised that any development on any green site will result in an impact, it is inevitable,” they said.

“Some vegetation will be removed to make way for access, therefore there will be a change of character.

“It is what it is, there will be an impact, but you can’t get away from that. We have had no objection from highways.”

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