Kids protest to MPs over 10,000 homes plan

Holly Richardson, Imogen Watson and Annabelle Locke with petition  pic Kathy Horniblow
Holly Richardson, Imogen Watson and Annabelle Locke with petition pic Kathy Horniblow

Three schoolchildren will hand over their petition to MPs tonight (Friday October 18) to protest against the possible building of 10,000 homes in the countryside.

Holly Richardson, Imogen Watson and Annabel Locke, all 15, are campaigning against plans to build a new town on 1200 acres of countryside in the area around Twineham, Henfield, Woodmancote, Shermanbury, Wineham, Sayers Common, Albourne, Blackstone, Hickstead and Hurstpierpoint.

Families in the area staged a yellow ribbon protest around the possible boundaries of the development on Wednesday and the girls, who live locally, are following up with their petition.

In a statement the girls told the Middy this week: “We want to protect the beautiful woodland, fields and rivers, and the wildlife that live here. We all have so many memories here, and couldn’t stand the thought of having it taken away from us and all the magnificent landscapes being devastated.

“To prevent this from happening we have set up a petition and a Facebook page, to find out whether the young people of Mid Sussex support our cause. We have had such an amazing response, we have about 200 signatures so far and 235 followers on Facebook, and the numbers are increasing all the time.”

The girls plan to hand over their petition tomorrow night to Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid Sussex and Nick Herbert MP for Arundel and South Downs.

The MPs will speak at a meeting on the issue that starts at 7:30pm at Adastra Hall in Hassocks.

Both MPs have already publicly declared their opposition to the suggestion by Mayfield Market Town of the 10,000 homes.

And this week the Middy received an open letter from the area’s parish councils also objecting to the plan.

Despite opposition to the homes, Mayfield has insisted they are needed and will take its case to a planning inspector when the draft Mid Sussex plan is discussed at a hearing, possibly in January.

Mid Sussex Council, which will present its draft plan to the examination in public, has publicly declared its opposition to the idea of the huge community of homes, which would bring about 30,000 more people to the area.

The girls added: “We are hoping they will give our petition to The Prime Minister so that he can see how strongly we feel about this subject.”

Tomorrow’s meeting is organised by the LAMB protest group and the Campaign To Protect Rural England.