Letter: Swallowing up countryside around Haywards Heath

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Following your excellent article on the threat to the setting of Sunte House, developers are continuing to step up their attempts to build houses on green spaces to the north of Haywards Heath, with plans that could see countryside swallowed up on both sides of the railway and as far as the Haywards Heath Golf Club.

Taking advantage of the late adoption of the District Plan which is still under discussion, with development plans for the surrounds of historic Sunte House and Wickham Farm (both Grade II* listed buildings)under way, threats to Sugworth Farm and Penland Farm, we now learn of new proposals emerging this week that could see fields to the north of 300 year old Sunte House being built over also.

Major house builders Crest Nicholson have just completed a 7 year option agreement with the owner of the land that will enable them to apply for planning permission to build houses on these green spaces.

With Banner Homes application to build south of Sunte House soon to be considered by the Mid Sussex District Council and major housing developments proposed by the Borde Hill Estate, along with the huge development of 230 homes in Lindfield, substantial areas of green space are now threatened.

The housebuilding plans have appalled all Haywards Heath residents, who were under the impression that the major thrust of development had already been completed or was to continue, with expansion to Bolnore Village and house building around the southern periphery, where the town’s bypass is due to be completed. Can our infrastructure take any more large scale development? We think NOT.

Brownfield infills is the promise of the Neighbourhood Plan, that is what, we as residents, have signed up to and are expecting the Planners and Councillors to deliver on.

It has been suggested that from Banner Homes’ relatively small estate which threatened the setting of the two nearby historic houses, the developers seem now to be fanning out into the open countryside of mid-Sussex, with virtually every green space under threat.

The whole character of the neighbourhood and the proximity of the town to the countryside is being altered in a planning free-for-all that makes nonsense of any governmental notions of “localism”.

I hope this might be of interest to you, and to Middy readers and really appreciate the support you have given.


Wickham Way, Haywards Heath