Revised District Plan set for public consultation

Mid Sussex

Mid Sussex District Council has recommended a revised draft of the District Plan for public consultation, to ensure the plan remains up to date, properly plans for infrastructure to be delivered alongside new homes, and protects the district from speculative, unplanned development.

Public consultation on the revised draft District Plan will run for a period of six-weeks from 7 November to 19 December 2022.

Housing targets are set for local authorities by the Government and District Plans must set out in broad terms what, where, when and how development should take place. Although Mid Sussex District Council has an adopted District Plan for Mid Sussex which runs from 2018-2031, the Government requires that the plan is updated every five years to ensure that housing need is met, and policies remain relevant and effective.

The Government’s Standard Method for calculating future housing need sets Mid Sussex a minimum requirement of delivering a further 8,169 new homes from 2021-2039.

The revised draft District Plan sets out a strategy for how to meet the housing requirement. The starting point is to protect all designated landscapes, such as the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), from all but limited development.

The Council is seeking to ensure that all opportunities to use brownfield sites are maximised and that any application for development makes the most effective use of land. This approach will help to reduce the number of greenfield sites required to meet the housing target. However, as a predominantly rural district (less than 12% is within a defined built-up area) opportunities for brownfield development are limited.

The revised draft District Plan is guided by the ’20-minute neighbourhoods’ principle, which ensures new developments are provided in areas where most people’s daily needs can be met within a short walk or cycle ride. In line with this principle, sites within the district’s three towns and larger villages, which are sustainable locations that already provide a range of services and facilities nearby, have been proposed for development.

In areas with few or no local services or facilities, there is still opportunity for growth if developments are sufficiently large enough to provide new supporting infrastructure on site such as a new primary school, health facilities, neighbourhood centres, small scale retail, employment opportunities, open space, and sports provision. Providing such facilities will create more sustainable developments that benefit both new residents and the existing community.

The revised draft District Plan includes three new sustainable developments at Crabbet Park, Copthorne, Land to the West of Burgess Hill and Land to the South of Reeds Lane, Sayers Common, which will collectively provide 4,750 new homes. The remaining housing need will be met by 21 smaller housing development sites across Mid Sussex, and an allowance for housing built on brownfield sites and windfall.

Councillor Robert Salisbury, Mid Sussex District Council Cabinet Member for Planning said:

“As our population grows, so does the demand for new housing, and the Government has a set formula for calculating exactly how many new homes are required to meet that growing need.

“Without a District Plan to provide a clear vision for the future, control passes to private housing developers, potentially leading to speculative and unwanted development in unsuitable locations.

“By having an up-to-date District Plan, we can set out where those new homes should go and include Planning Policies that ensure developers create sustainable communities with access to essential services and facilities like new schools, healthcare provision, community halls and leisure facilities. It provides certainty for communities, stakeholders, and infrastructure providers.”

The revised draft District Plan is available to view online at www.midsussex.gov.uk/districtplan and paper copies are available at libraries, Help Points, the District Council offices, and Town and Parish Council offices.

Comments can be submitted online at www.midsussex.gov.uk/districtplan or can be sent to Planning Policy and Housing Enabling, Mid Sussex District Council at Oaklands, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH161SS.

For more information, please contact Martin Faulconbridge on 01444 477478 or Martin.Faulconbridge@midsussex.gov.uk

Author: Lisa Thompson
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