‘Grandiose’ promises labelled as ‘laughable’

Land owned by Robert Worsley and proposed Mayfield site near Twineham. Pic Steve Robards SUS-151205-132531001
Land owned by Robert Worsley and proposed Mayfield site near Twineham. Pic Steve Robards SUS-151205-132531001

Campaigners have called a developer’s pledge not to pre-empt local plans, as ‘laughable’.

Mayfield Market Towns, which aims to create a new town of 10,000 homes between Sayers Common and Henfield, has renewed its commitment not to pre-empt local plans.

It wrote a letter to Mid Sussex and Horsham District Councils, and set out guarantees to stand by the outcome of the local plan processes.

It promised not to pre-empt Local Plans with applications and accept housing need conclusions of local plans.

The Middy has reported the developer offered Twineham farmer Robert Worsley £275million for his land, but was turned down.

Residents accused Mayfield of trying to bypass the planning process and attempting to build on land not considered appropriate for housing by local councils.

Jane Watson, spokesperson for the anti-Mayfield campaign group LAMBS, said in response to the renewed pledges: “To now speak of grandiose ‘pledges’ is frankly laughable. This is nothing more than a PR stunt to salvage some semblance of credibility for what is clearly a wholly unwanted, unsustainable and destructive proposal in the depths of our beautiful, unspoilt Sussex countryside.

“As for promising not to pre-empt the planning process – who are they kidding after spending the past two years trying to derail all four local plans?

“The most worrying message here is that they have ‘pledged’ to hang around tormenting our communities until all four plans are complete – which could be some time. This is more of a threat than a ‘pledge’ really.”

A spokesperson for Mayfield said it has pledged that if more homes presently planned for are not needed, it will withdraw proposals.

“Even if the adopted local plans do identify the need for more homes than presently planned for, we will not apply for permission - or appeal - if additional locations excluding Mayfields are identified in the adopted Local Plans.”

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