Concerns about "wholly inappropriate" plans for new town reach Westminster

The Argus: Concerns about "wholly inappropriate" plans for new town hits reaches Westminster Concerns about "wholly inappropriate" plans for new town hits reaches Westminster

Concerns about “wholly inappropriate” plans to build a 10,000- home town have been raised in the House of Commons.

Developers behind Mayfield Market Towns want to build on 800 hectares of agricultural land near Burgess Hill.

The multi-million-pound project would house up to 30,000 people on a site between Henfield and Sayers Common.

The town would include up to five new primary schools, an academy, and a retail high street, and developers claim that it could also help alleviate Brighton and Hove’s housing demand.

But speaking at a House of Commons debate about the project on Tuesday, Nicholas Soames, Conservative MP for Mid Sussex, said the project would “destroy beautiful countryside and valuable agricultural land”.

He said: “Its proponents call the putative new settlement a ‘market town’. That is arrant nonsense, since there would be minimal local employment.

“It would, as the excellent Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England observed, be a com- muter town, since almost all its residents would in fact travel to other areas for work.

“The proposal is totally and wholly inappropriate and is causing the great- est possible local concern and anxiety.”

Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs, echoed his concerns, highlighting a report from Horsham, Crawley and Mid Sussex councils claiming that a new town “wasn’t sustainable”.

He said Mayfield Market Towns had gone “much further” than set out a proposal for a new town – including distributing 8,000 leaflets north of Horsham telling people the development could stop development elsewhere.

He added: “The developers are setting out to undermine the normal local planning process and interfere with the sensitive consultations that local authorities are holding with our electorate.

"That is entirely reprehensible behaviour.

"It is deeply unhelpful to the development of new plans and it should be roundly condemned.”

A spokeswoman for Mayfield Market Towns said it was “aware” of concerns about development.

She added: “By creating a new market town rather than ad-hoc housing estates spread across Sussex, we can create quality spaces that businesses need, homes that people can afford and jobs that go with the full range of shops and social facilities that Mayfields will deliver.

“Though our website, meetings, presentations and newsletters we have tried to engage with a wide audience.

“We want local people to know they have a choice and passionately believe that well-planned new communities are a much better way of meaningfully addressing the growing housing crisis than the current strategy of continuous ‘add ons’ to existing towns and villages.”

Comments (5)

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11:50am Thu 5 Dec 13

Quiterie says...

The trouble is pretty much everyone agrees that we need new housing to ease the housing crisis and bring down house prices and rents to make them more affordable, but no one wants new developments to take place near them.

Tricky.
The trouble is pretty much everyone agrees that we need new housing to ease the housing crisis and bring down house prices and rents to make them more affordable, but no one wants new developments to take place near them. Tricky. Quiterie

1:05pm Thu 5 Dec 13

spacetufty says...

The trouble is everyone thinks there's a housing crisis because we are all told there is a housing crisis. Whether there is actually one, or whether we just need to build for growth purposes (or for developer profits), no-one really seems to know. The simple solution here is building for the needs of the local community. Where I live there is a need for affordable housing for new young families and for the over 65s. So build for these sections of the community on brownfield sites within the towns and villages. Do not build 4, 5, 6 bed houses on greenbelt land that no one locally needs.
The trouble is everyone thinks there's a housing crisis because we are all told there is a housing crisis. Whether there is actually one, or whether we just need to build for growth purposes (or for developer profits), no-one really seems to know. The simple solution here is building for the needs of the local community. Where I live there is a need for affordable housing for new young families and for the over 65s. So build for these sections of the community on brownfield sites within the towns and villages. Do not build 4, 5, 6 bed houses on greenbelt land that no one locally needs. spacetufty

2:06pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Justin says...

New houses are desperately needed and supposedly over-developed Sussex is still 90% trees and fields. The main objectors are rich landowners and you'd expect Nicolas Soames to come down emphatically on their side.

No one else is damaged by this proposal, there are acres of countryside to enjoy and we should let NIMBYs obstruct modest developments like the proposed new town.
New houses are desperately needed and supposedly over-developed Sussex is still 90% trees and fields. The main objectors are rich landowners and you'd expect Nicolas Soames to come down emphatically on their side. No one else is damaged by this proposal, there are acres of countryside to enjoy and we should let NIMBYs obstruct modest developments like the proposed new town. Justin

2:29pm Thu 5 Dec 13

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Nicholas Soames has a passion for hunting - so is this land used by a hunt? That would be the biggest reason for his objecting to this.
Nicholas Soames has a passion for hunting - so is this land used by a hunt? That would be the biggest reason for his objecting to this. getThisCoalitionOut

6:14pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Sir Prised says...

Uncontained population growth, pure and simple. More energy, more water, more food, more traffic, more waste, more pollution. It's brilliant, just brilliant! But hey-ho, let's just carry on paying people to have babies and run an open-door immigration policy. This is simply like putting a finger in a leaky dam!
Uncontained population growth, pure and simple. More energy, more water, more food, more traffic, more waste, more pollution. It's brilliant, just brilliant! But hey-ho, let's just carry on paying people to have babies and run an open-door immigration policy. This is simply like putting a finger in a leaky dam! Sir Prised

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