LETTER: District Plan is urgently needed

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The Middy’s recent Times Comment editorial (January 7) on how to try and resolve the local housing shortage without sacrificing greenbelt countryside is timely.

The temptation is to cast property developers as the villains of the piece, but they are simply trying to be proactive, shrewdly taking advantage of the vacuum caused by the absence of an approved Mid Sussex District Plan.

The essential rural character of our villages is at grave risk of being lost forever. It is therefore essential that outline planning permission for large-scale developments on village outskirts are not rushed through before the emerging Mid Sussex District Plan is completed and approved. Smaller developments within built-up areas are preferable, if managed sympathetically and throughout the 16-year timescale of the District Plan, but even these will increase the pressure on hard-pressed health, education and traffic resources.

It is only because of Mid Sussex District Council’s inability to complete a timely District Plan that developers have felt able to submit plans for large-scale developments on countryside deemed “Not Currently Developable”. Mid Sussex District Council therefore have a duty to complete the District Plan at the earliest opportunity, so that developers’ planning applications are considered objectively and with due cognisance of all the relevant local planning documents. Hopefully further urbanisation of our precious,irreplaceable countryside can then be minimised.

Nigel Day

East Mascalls Lane, Lindfield

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