‘We are going to march our tanks into Mid Sussex’ said the headline referring to an application to build 600 homes close to Pease Pottage plus the inclusion of the usual ‘sweeteners’, school, community centre and in this case a hospice.
I would not doubt the need for a hospice but builders are past masters at tapping into the emotive side of the nation to get their own way. So the war of attrition goes on as the builders land-grab and under cover of a Governmental edict force feed us the need for houses all over the county to the extent they are now causing a rift across the area as everyone tries to defend their own location.
We are actually under siege from these builders and within ten or 15 years you can see Crawley on Haywards Heath’s doorstep by which time we will have merged with Burgess Hill and all our historic villages are just named suburbs of a huge city.
Maybe the time has come to fight back, not as individual villages where we are at our weakest but across the county as a whole and say enough is enough.
Whilst Lindfield, Turners Hill and Twineham tried to support their parishioners and held a Neighbourhood Plan referendum, which although successful, was achieved against the backdrop of appalling turnouts, they will never be able fend off the building companies on their own and any small win will be met by many huge defeats.
I do not know the answer but a suggestion would be, if it is possible, that the villages and towns need to consider pooling their resources, obtain some professional help and present a united front in an attempt to meet the building companies head on and mount a serious challenge to this destruction of our countryside and quality of life across Mid Sussex. It appears to be quite clear that our MPs will not be willing to offer any support.
I would also like to mention the excellent letter from David Lewis of Lindfield in last week’s issue regarding house building.
Summerhill Grange, Lindfield
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