More housing development on the southern edge of Burgess Hill would worsen existing traffic problems, according to the Lib Dems.
Land south of Folders Lane and east of Keymer Road has been allocated for 300 homes in Mid Sussex District Council’s draft site allocations development plan document.
A public consultation on the document, which identifies 1,962 new homes across 22 different sites, started on Wednesday October 9.
Liberal Democrat district councillors Roger Cartwright and Robert Eggleston have spoken out against the inclusion of the site off Folders Lane and Keymer Road.
In particular they raised current issues with poor road infrastructure and congestion and argue that these problems would only be exacerbated if even more new homes are built.
Mr Cartwright, who is also mayor of Burgess Hill, said: “It’s noticeable how it’s become more and more congested over the years.”
Mr Eggleston, who is also leader of Burgess Hill Town Council, added: “In peak hours in both the morning and afternoon it’s already difficult. Add these numbers at peak hours and it’s going to be pretty horrendous.”
They highlighted the considerable housing growth in the east side of Burgess Hill with no improvement to road infrastructure to support it.
They pointed out how housing assessments in 2007, 2013 and 2016 had all identified the same problem with the site, as development there would have ‘potential significant transport impacts on the road network’.
They argued that ‘no evidence exists as far as we can see’ which suggests this has changed. They added: “To include the land to the south of Folders Lane in the proposed site allocation plan would be clearly and obviously wrong.”
A development of 72 homes further along Folders Lane is currently underway, while another 43 homes is allocated in the document for a parcel of land to the east sharing the same access point.
There are also plans for 500 homes north of Hassocks, which would also lead to extra vehicle movements without any changes to what they describe as a ‘minor road network’ which has its main arterial route through the town centre via bottlenecks at Hoadleys Roundabout and the town centre roundabout by the bank.
Since 2007, 670 homes have been built in the east part of Burgess Hill, the equivalent to 298,000 extra movements a year, and a further 500 homes at Hassocks would add an
The two Lib Dem councillors argue that the road infrastructure is already showing the strains from the current building programme, with an increase from 300,000 traffic movements a year to more than 900,000 is ‘not something that this area can possibly sustain and is not something we can ignore’.
The openness and transparency of the process was questioned by the Lib Dems when the DPD was approved for consultation at a meeting late last month.