Around 30 Henfield campaigners will be at Horsham council offices on Tuesday (March 25) at 9.30am to protest before an appeal is heard over a plan to build 160 houses in West End Lane.
“If this plan goes ahead it will devastate a vital area of rural beauty that is a major attraction for people using the Downslink,” said Tony Jackson, chairman of Henfield Community Partnership.
“An area of outstanding beauty would be lost for all time and the village community would be massively affected.”
He plans to give evidence at the appeal hearing.
Horsham District Council have employed a top barrister in their continuing fight to reject the plan put forward by Barratt Southern Counties.
District councillors rejected the Barratt plan last August, supporting Henfield Parish Council, Henfield Community Partnership and Hands Off Henfield – the village campaign group.
The field in which the Barratt homes would be built is prone to flooding
Carol Eastwood, vice-chairman of Hands Off Henfield, said: “The demands on the village from 160 new homes would be more than it could cope with – there are few local jobs, the nearest railway station is almost eight miles away and the car parks in the village are already filled to capacity.
“That’s not taking into account the strain on the school, the medical centre and the small roads that feed into the area.
“The population of Henfield, already well over 5,400, is largely elderly and we have four homes for elderly and retired people within a short distance of where this development would be.”
Tony Jackson said: “We have taken the advice of experts in looking at how rural communities are affected by inappropriate developments – and at measuring the effects on local facilities.
“This has guided the community’s evidence.”
He said that a major concern was the inadequate infrastructure of the area, with the increased risk of flooding and strain on overstretched sewerage systems.