Fresh hope for Haywards Heath campaigners fighting to save golf club from development

Sarah Munday with her children Emily and Tom, and Liz Evans. Photo by Steve Robards
Sarah Munday with her children Emily and Tom, and Liz Evans. Photo by Steve Robards

Residents campaigning against plans to build new homes on a golf course have spoken of their delight after the site was given Asset of Community Value status.

It means the community has the right to bid for the asset if it is ever put up for sale – also known as a Community Right to Bid.

Listed Assets of Community Value (AVC) stay on the local authority’s list for up to five years.

Campaigners Liz Evans and Sarah Munday said: “We are very excited to be able to report that Haywards Heath golf course has been granted the status of Asset of Community Value.

“As a result of our lobbying, Lindfield Rural Parish Council, with the help of Lindfield Parish Council, put in an application to Mid Sussex District Council to have the golf course listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

“We have just learned that this has been approved by the district council.”

Liz and Sarah expressed concerns about plans to build new homes on the golf course in High Beech Lane, Lindfield, back in September 2018.

They said developer Fairfax was proposing to acquire 100 acres of land comprising the golf course, and was proposing to build 1,100 new homes.

The pair said the plans would have a ‘huge impact on the local area’ and would ‘lead to increased pressure on local services which are already stretched’.

They set up a website and Facebook page in a bid to stop ‘a proposal to develop approximately 100 acres of beautiful countryside’.

They said: “We have had more supporters joining our Facebook page and mailing list and had a stall at Lindfield Village Day.

“This attracted a huge amount of interest and support from locals who back our campaign and share our goal to keep HHGC as a fully functioning golf club, and to preserve the beautiful landscape for ramblers and dogwalkers to use.

“We believe that its status as ACV will be a strong point in the argument against any development of HHGC.”

Developer Fairfax confirmed it was still looking at the development potential of the site, but a spokesman said that the number of homes they were looking at was not at the level being suggested by campaigners.

A spokesman for both Lindfield Parish Council and Lindfield Rural Parish Council said: “Lindfield Rural Parish Council applied to Mid Sussex District Council to nominate Haywards Heath Golf Club as an Asset of Community Value.

“Following a request by Lindfield Rural Parish Council, Lindfield Parish Council agreed to support the application and equally share the costs of the professional fees involved in making the nomination.

“Mid Sussex District Council have confirmed that the nomination was successful.”