Fresh assurances that the transfer of ownership of Wilderness Field are poised to go ahead have been offered to Lindfield villagers.
Lindfield Preservation Society has criticised developer Barratt Homes – which is building Heathwood Park, a 230-home development in Gravelye Lane, Lindfield over the delay in completing the deal.
The transfer is taking longer than anticipated but we are working hard to resolve and conclude the matter as soon as possible.Cllr Norman Webster, Mid Sussex District Council
“Barratt has been required by planning condition to hold regular meetings with local residents concerning the housing estate they are building at Gravelye Lane,” said Gil Kennedy, chairman of the society.
“We have been using these meetings to press them on outstanding business from their last project in the village, The Limes estate at Newton Road.
“Most notably, they have still not transferred ownership of the adjoining Wilderness Field – thus protecting it from further development – to Mid Sussex District Council.”
Mr Kennedy said the council required Barratt homes to discharge the condition before half of the homes were occupied – a point he describes as ‘well in the past’.
“Repeated requests for them to deal with this and other outstanding issues have met a wall of silence since May 2014,” he said.
He added that the situation was also a ‘failure’ for Mid Sussex District Council.
Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Planning said: “The Council is in discussion with Barratt Homes over the transfer of Wilderness Field, along with land known as the Eastern Road Plantation.
“The transfer is taking longer than anticipated but we are working hard to resolve and conclude the matter as soon as possible.”
Rob Phillips, head of planning for Barratt Homes, said: “We have been working proactively in partnership with Mid Sussex District Council for some time now on the terms of the final transfer.
“The council’s legal team is in the process of finalising the relevant documentation to confirm that the transfer can take place.”
He continued: “We are very proud of both of our Lindfield developments – The Limes and Heathwood Park – and have enjoyed working with the local community.
“We appreciate their understanding while construction is taking place.”