As a resident of Albourne I cannot see any merit in the Mayfield Market Town proposal.
It’s hard to know where to start on what’s wrong with the proposal and what other (better) options there are.
The scale of the development is unwarranted and its location is absurd. There is not a need for more employment in the area, attracting more and more people, there is a need for new homes, developed in a sustained way.
The plans of Mid Sussex and Horsham district councils provide for sufficient new homes by adding on and in-filling of existing developments without the need for concreting over the Low Weald.
As for a failure to co-operate with neighbouring councils, most people looking for housing in Brighton and Hove want to live in Brighton and Hove, not some new town ten miles north and not on a rail line, this is clearly evidenced by the huge house price differential between Brighton and Burgess Hill. Burgess Hill itself would benefit from investment and redevelopment.
Brownfield development and revised use of empty buildings (in surrounding cities, towns and villages) should be the first priority, not a brand new characterless development miles from any rail link. The idea of building a huge park and ride at Hickstead and bussing people to London or Brighton is a complete farce.
The plans do not have the support of the district or parish councils, or the MPs or, most importantly, local people. This is purely a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.
Let’s not forget that the land at the proposed location is prone to flooding, development will only move the problem eleswhere. The area is also home to a wide variety of wildlife and the plan is opposed by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. There is insufficient infrastructure to support 10,000 new homes on the Weald.
The people of Mid Sussex do need to accept that there is a need for development, no one likes change and, indeed, the land behind my own home has recently had homes built upon it.
Whilst I acknowledge that I would have preferred this not to happen, it is what we all have to face if we want to prevent destruction of a way of life.
For continuation of our rural idyll we need to develop the existing settlements in a sustainable manner and use all the brownfield sites and empty buildings to address the housing shortfall.
The London centric approach to UK growth needs to be tackled head on by central government. Road and rail links to the rest of the UK need to be subject to greater investment and the government should be more active in its pursuit of regional development outside of the South East.
There are many deprived areas in the country that are crying out for investment and development and, whilst growth of our capital is inevitable, central government must try harder to spread the wealth and growth.
The Twitten, Albourne