Why are our neighbourhood plans being ignored by those wanting to build more houses?

Mid Sussex District Council Offices (Picture : Liz Pearce.)
Mid Sussex District Council Offices (Picture : Liz Pearce.)

I have sent the following letter to Nick Herbert our local MP:

In the Mid Sussex Times [September 12] we have an item headed ‘New development sites are planned’. It included the following words: “While the majority of development sites are allocated the planning inspector required Mid Sussex District Council to identify more land to ensure housing and employment needs are met in the area.”

This poses some questions.

What housing and employment needs and where is the proof of the necessity for this statement? We either want housing or jobs, but both, please explain? For instance the London to Brighton train line is full to capacity but we need more homes... why?

When the localism bill went through parliament in 2011 and neighbourhood plans were legislated for, we as councils were told, that if any development was proposed, the government inspector would first look at the neighbourhood plan, and if it is not in there, the development would be automatically turned down. This was clearly a lie! Who is responsible for this?

Many people, myself included, have spent years designing and implementing neighbourhood plans, which have by referendum been incorporated into the district council’s own ‘local plan’. The people have spoken, and as a result we have a right to demand that the law on neighbourhood plans be enforced as originally envisaged.

If we do not enforce the law, thousands of councils will have wasted a countless amount of time for nothing. On behalf of the thousands of good people who slaved over these neighbourhood plans, I ask for and demand an explanation!

We need to know who the inspector is, and upon what basis these exorbitant building pronouncements were made and we need to know every detail of the planning and cognitive processes employed.

Don McBeth

Grand Avenue