MPs seek to counter Mayfield New Town claims

4 November 2014

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert and Mid-Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames have asked to appear before the Planning Inspector who this week begins his examination of Horsham District Council's local plan.

The MPs want to set out their concerns about the way in which Mayfield Market Towns have been promoting a new town against the wishes of local councils.

A three week examination of the Horsham District Planning Framework by an Independent Inspector begins today (Tuesday 4 November) in the Council's offices in Horsham.

The Inspector is required to assess the 'soundness' of the local plan, published earlier this year, to see whether it accords with the new National Planning Policy Framework.

The MPs have asked the Inspector to be permitted to appear on Tuesday 18 November, subject to parliamentary business, as this is the day allocated for a hearing on a New Market Town.

The proposed Mayfield New Town of 10,000 new houses between Henfield and Sayers Common would fall between the MPs' constituencies, and both have strongly objected to it.

Neither the proposed Horsham or Mid-Sussex plans support the Mayfield proposal but the developers are arguing that the plans are unsound and need to include it.

Horsham District Council has said that "the most sustainable locational strategy for bringing forward development is strategic expansion as well as small scale organic growth of existing settlements rather than a new settlement. As a consequence the allocation of any new settlement (irrespective of its location) is not considered to be the most sustainable approach to meeting the housing and economic development needs of the District."

The MPs are seeking to raise their concerns as they relate to Horsham's Planning Framework and support the decision of local councillors not to endorse the Mayfield proposal.

They argue that the plan is unsustainable, involving construction on a greenfield site prone to flooding, with no railway link and causing irreparable damage to local countryside and villages.

Nick Herbert said: "We remain strongly opposed to the Mayfield New Town proposal and are concerned that the developers who are promoting it are trying to undermine Horsham and Mid-Sussex councils' local plans for their own ends."

Sir Nicholas Soames said: "A new town in this area of countryside is totally unsustainable and meets none of the Government's criteria for 'garden city'-type developments.  We are appalled by the way in which Mayfield Market Towns are trying to upset careful local decision-making by our councils."






1.    Information about the Horsham District Planning Framework Examination can be found at:

2.    Horsham District Council's response to the Inspector's Issues for Discussion on a New Market Town can be found at:

3.    To read Nick’s news release from 23 June 2014 ‘West Sussex MPs rally against Mayfield Garden City plans’ see

4.    To read Nick’s news from 23 October 2013 ‘MPs reiterate opposition to West Sussex new town’ see  

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