Concern over plans for 40 new homes in village

Residents have expressed their anger over a development for 40 homes on the edge of Mannings Heath.

Last week developer Charles Church showed villagers proposals to build on land at Saddlers Farm, adjacent to The Quarries.

JPCT 181014 S144440869x Mannings Heath Housing development exhibition. Local residents -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141018-132737001

JPCT 181014 S144440869x Mannings Heath Housing development exhibition. Local residents -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141018-132737001

Part of the Persimmon Homes group, the company says the development would provide much needed affordable housing for people now forced to move away.

Katherine Putnam, planning manager of Persimmon Homes South East, said: “It is 40 homes, 40 per cent affordable, and a mix of two to five bedroom - predominantly family homes. It’s very much a landscape led type of development and low density.

“The 40 per cent affordable is absolutely crucial to allow some of the younger people who grew up in the village to come back.”

She added they had received mixed feedback from villagers with some interested in buying homes in the proposed development.

Many villagers, though, had concerns about increased traffic, poor sewerage and the fact Saddler’s Farm was in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB).

The site was classed as developable in older Horsham District Council documents. However, in the past year the land has been reclassified by officers as undevelopable.

Keith Davison from Mannings Heath Action Group (MHAG) said: “It’s a category two village which is supposed to be only suitable for small developments. Forty homes is not a small development. An ANOB is the highest category of protection. If there should be building on an ANOB it should be used as a last resort.”

To view and comment on the plans go to saddlersfarm-manningsheath.co.uk. There will also be an exhibition in the village hall on November 13.

Charles Church will assess residents’ feedback with a view to submitting an application to the district council next year.