A root cause of the planning issues in your recent letters is the lack of an agreed District Plan.
For preserving the character of Mid Sussex, the consequences of this are catastrophic.
Without an agreed land supply for housing development every proposal from developers has a built-in approval unless it can be opposed – the onus is always on the local residents.
Without a District Plan, every Neighbourhood Plan carries no weight with the Planning Inspector – all the work and resources spent on them is a waste. Every attempt to prevent housing creep can be thwarted.
Without a District Plan the developers do not have to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy, set at six times the first year’s Council Tax. Some 800 houses a year are being built. That is at least £15 million a year that is not being contributed to develop the infrastructure – schools, roads, drainage, much needed amenities that are straining because of the relentless creep of new housing.
Mid Sussex District Council must take the blame for such a fiasco – by opposing the housing targets they have made matters so much worse. We are getting the same number built but with very few of the benefits we might expect, and in a context where planning is being done.
They have made life a breeze for the housing developers and they have been getting away without making a proper contribution to the additional infrastructure costs, and have pocketed handsome profits. With proper planning we could meet the exacting targets. This piecemeal approach actually creates the very thing that its proponents claim they are trying to avoid.
What a mess!
Keymer Road, Burgess Hill
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