Henfield ‘horrified’ by market town proposals

JPCT 03-09-12 S12360703X  Horsham. Millenium Hall, Roffey.  Henfield campaigners  before public inquiry into proposal to build 102 homes.   -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 03-09-12 S12360703X Horsham. Millenium Hall, Roffey. Henfield campaigners before public inquiry into proposal to build 102 homes. -photo by Steve Cobb

The village of Henfield is ‘horrified’ by proposals for a new 10,000-home market town on its doorstep.

Mayfield Market Towns’ plans for five new villages between Henfield and Sayers Common were exclusively revealed in the County Times in September 2012.

Now the company is hoping to engage residents and is asking for feedback on its website and via email.

However Carol Eastwood, co-leader of Hands off Henfield, which has merged No West End Lane Development and Henfield’s Own Preservation Society together, said that people in the village were ‘horrified’ by proposals.

She explained: “I can’t believe why anybody thinks it’s viable to put 10,000 homes in that location.

“It does not make economic sense. It just happens to be farm land they have options on.”

She added: “Not only is our village completely overrun with development we are faced with a 10,000 home community plonked on our doorstep and it’s totally against what we want to see, and we do not see how it’s going to benefit us.”

102 homes east of Manor Close were rejected by Horsham District Council in July 2012, but then overturned on appeal by the planning inspector late last year.

Meanwhile Barratt Homes is expected to submit an application for 160 homes off West End Lane, at a time when campaigners say the homes built on Parsonage Farm, north of Henfield, have not yet been assimilated into the village.

Hands off Henfield organised a public meeting to discuss development at which Nick Herbert, Arundel and South Downs MP, was a guest speaker.

Mrs Eastwood said: “There was a sharp intake of breath from the audience that did not know that it was even being considered, that 10,000 homes could be built so close to us, two miles away from us.”

Horsham District Council is currently working on its draft Local Development Framework, which will set out where and how many houses are built in the district over the next 20 years.

However without a plan in place the Government planning inspector has overturned several rejected applications on the grounds of a lack of five-year housing land supply.

Mrs Eastwood added: “We are all in danger until Horsham District Council’s plan has been adopted. We can be held to ransom.”

The group is holding a public meeting on Barratt Homes’ plans for West End Lane at the White Hart Pub in Henfield on Thursday June 6 starting at 7.30pm. The group will then do another leaflet drop.

To make your views known email Mayfield at feedback@mayfieldtowns.co.uk or comment below.