‘Furious’ residents are campaigning against a proposed housing development in Haywards Heath which they claim is a ‘recipe for chaos’.
Outline planning permission for the development of up to 375 homes at Hurst Farm in Hurstwood Lane was approved by Mid Sussex District Council last week.
The committee spent two hours discussing traffic and access issues, while all other matters – such as the design and layout of the housing, plans for a two form entry primary school, a burial ground, allotments, country park, ‘green way’ and car parking – were reserved.
Stephanie Went, chairman of the Fox Hill Association, said the questions over access ‘had not been answered’ at the district planning meeting. She added: “The fact that all of these services, 194 of the houses and four other large developments, are all expected to emerge from a minor road onto the ‘relief’ road is a concern.
“If the development goes ahead construction lorries will be using both ends of the lane putting pedestrians and other road users at extreme risk on what is a country lane with no paths.
“On top of this the residents objecting to this application are doing so because they are experiencing the town’s major and severe peak time congestion and can also see that adding 375 houses, a double entry primary school, a 50-place nursery, a burial ground, allotments and a country park will only increase the traffic on the roads in Haywards Heath.”
Richard Silander said there was ‘real anger and resentment that residents’ concerns had been ignored by the council’. “This decision flies in the face of common sense,” he added.
“Everyone knows that the Old Farm Close junction is gridlocked at rush hour. To add nearly 400 new houses and a school without improving road provision is a recipe for chaos.
“The development is to be considered by Lewes District Council on August 29, which has failed to notify affected residents who fall within the area. So there are people in these new houses on the Ridgeway suddenly discovering that their route to work will be virtually closed to them. Many are furious.”
A spokesman for the district council said: “Our councillors take the issue of traffic very seriously and a considerable amount of time was spent at the planning committee meeting analysing traffic and highways matters.
“Members of the committee were made well aware of the concerns raised by residents and all the representations made by the public were clearly laid out as part of an extensive committee report.
“Highways matters were also raised by the residents who had the opportunity to speak at the planning committee meeting and officers from West Sussex County Council, which is the highways authority, responded to all the concerns raised by residents at that time.”