United Conservative opposition to Mayfields new town
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert and Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames joined Horsham and Mid Sussex district council candidates near Henfield on Saturday (27 April) to unite in their opposition to a Mayfields new town.
The Conservative MPs and district council candidates met on a site where Mayfield Market Towns Ltd wants to build more than 10,000 houses on land which sits across both the Horsham and Mid Sussex district areas.
The Conservative representatives repeated their strong opposition to the proposals, agreeing that the new town would be unsustainable, with inadequate local infrastructure and in particular no rail access.
Mayfield do not even own or hold options on all of the land required to build the number of houses proposed, yet they are expected to submit outline planning to Horsham District Council early next year for 7,000 houses.
Nick Herbert MP said: “Our local councillors have consistently voiced their strong opposition to the Mayfields new town, an unsustainable proposal which has never had a convincing case or council support.
“I will continue to work with Sir Nicholas, local councillors and LAMBS (Locals Aginst Mayfields Building Sprawl) to object to these plans and to protect this beautiful area of West Sussex.”
Sir Nicholas Soames MP said: “Mayfield’s persistent attempts to build a new town and undermine our district council plans have blighted this area and caused enormous and justifiable resentment amongst local people.
“Once again our local representatives have demonstrated that opposition to Mayfield is not going to go away. Nick Herbert and I will continue to give our total and determined backing to the LAMBS campaign until this misplaced proposal is withdrawn.”
Lynn Lambert (Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead) said: “I am totally against this area of West Sussex being built on. It is not a sensible location for such a large settlement and would be devastating for the surrounding villages. There are no transport links, the fields flood all the time, and people living on the land do not want to be forced to sell to Mayfield. I support more housing in the right place, but this area is unsuitable.”
Brian O’Connell (Henfield) said: “As the Conservative councillor for Henfield I have continually fought against over development of the village. This Mayfield proposal is wrong for the village, in the wrong place and the infrastructure cannot sustain this type of development. I will wholeheartedly fight against this proposal.”
Josh Potts (Henfield) said: “Mayfields appear to once again be subverting democracy. They have seemingly pressured Horsham District Council (HDC) into signing an agreement that obliges HDC to test the deliverability of their unwanted new town proposals and help overcome any obstacles. This takes up the valuable time of our planning officers and is preventing them from concentrating on progressing neighbourhood plans which support the localism agenda and provide the right number of homes in the right places. You couldn’t make it up!”
David Coldwell (Upper Beeding, Bramber and Woodmancote) said: “The location is wholly unsuited to major development due to lack of infrastructure and lack of proposals to remedy this shortfall.”
Jonathan Chowen (Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead) said: “Mayfield Market Town continues to raise its unwelcome head with a pre-application agreement with Horsham District Council as the Council considers hundreds of sites as part of its statutory review of its current local plan. These Planning Performance Agreements state that it is not legally binding or commit the Council to supporting the planning application. The site is not allocated for development and cannot currently be supported in principle. Lynn Lambert and I continue to oppose this development as unsustainable in this very isolated and rural site which would have a damaging affect on the current community.”
Anthony Watts-Williams (Hurstpierpoint & Downs) said: “Mayfield Market Towns proposals for a new town in the countryside, next to the village of Henfield and the South Downs National Park, lacking any infrastructure, and miles from rail links, is completely unacceptable. The developers have been turned down repeated due to the unsustainability of their proposals, but appear to be willing to blight communities indefinitely. This is completely unreasonable, and we cannot allow it to continue.”
Geoff Zeidler, Chairman of LAMBS said: “Mayfields’ scheme has been declared unsustainable by previous Inspectors and is undeliverable; yet continues to blight the lives of residents through unscrupulous and misleading behaviour. LAMBS welcome the support of Sussex’s elected representatives to allow work to focus on locally-led plans to deliver against the housing challenge; rather than wasting council resources on this folly.”
1. Photograph – (left to right), Anthony Watts-Williams (Hurstpierpoint & Downs), David Coldwell (Upper Beeding, Bramber & Woodmancote), Brian O’Connell (Henfield), Judy Llewellyn-Burke (Bolney), Sir Nicholas Soames, Lynn Lambert (Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead), Nick Herbert, Cllr Lionel Barnard (Henfield division, WSCC), John Potts, landowner, Josh Potts (Henfield), Jonathan Chowen (Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead).