Countryside sale sparks new development fear


Open fields that have been put up for sale have sparked new fears of major housing development in the countryside.

More than 33 acres of land at Wineham are being sold in up to seven lots via Steyning estate agents H J Burt.

The sale has prompted new concerns that developers could move onto the land. Widespread uproar was caused three years ago when Mayfield Market Towns proposed to build a 10,000-home town on land between Sayers Common and Henfield.

Protesters formed the group Locals Against Mayfield Building Sprawl - LAMBS - to halt the proposals and a planning inspector ruled that there was ‘no need’ in the area for such a development.

A Twineham farmer was later hailed a hero when he refused to sell his land to developers despite a £275 million offer.

Now two lots of land at Wineham Lane, Wineham, have been sold - one for £150,000 and another for £125,000. The rest of the 33.37 acres are being sold in up to five further lots, or as a whole.

But Rowan Allan, of estate agents H J Burt, said that the two lots that had already been sold had been bought as grazing land.

“It is not development land per se,” he said, “Although we don’t know what could happpen in future.

“It is agricultural land and there is no planning application for its development at the moment.”

Both South Downs MP Nick Herbert and Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames have spoken out against the Mayfield Market Town development plans.