LETTER: Parish council did not choose sites

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In last week’s Middy Letters (29 January 2015) two correspondents made adverse comment on Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common’s Neighbourhood Plan with one pushing others not to support the Referendum being held next week.

Residents need to be made aware that the Parish Council did not choose the sites that are in the Plan. They were chosen for them by local land owners who did their deals directly with building developers. The developments that are mentioned in the Plan already have planning permission some as a consequence of appeals made to the Planning Inspectorate and referred by them to the Secretary of State (SOS). College Lane was turned down by the SOS for the sole reason that it was building in a strategic gap required to prevent coalescence with Hassocks. The majority of parishioners will understand that voting no has little purpose other than to deny the Parish Council the ability to get on top of potential future developments that could overwhelm our infrastructure and affect our countryside adversely. This first Neighbourhood Plan is simply picking up the pieces of the developments that are already underway and settled before Localism will have a chance to take hold after a successful Referendum. Picking up the pieces meant getting the best deal from what was already being proposed hence land adjoining Little Park has been secured as parkland with no further house building permitted.With a majority YES vote future developments will have to work their way through the Neighbourhood Plan and will not be able to bypass the Parish Council without the agreement of the parish councillors who represent residents in the first instance. Mid Sussex District Council, as the planning authority will have to take note of what our Neighbourhood Plan contains. Voting NO achieves nothing, voting YES brings the opportunity of better control, better infrastructure and a future of many possibilities.

Patrick Kehoe,

Chairman, Hurstpierpoint Society