Hamlet ‘under siege’ as two new housing estates proposed

Rudwgick residents outside a parish council meeting opposing two proposed new housing estates next to Cox Green (photo submitted).
Rudwgick residents outside a parish council meeting opposing two proposed new housing estates next to Cox Green (photo submitted).

The hamlet of Cox Green near Rudgwick is ‘under siege’ as two new housing estates are proposed, according to frustrated residents.

Conservative John Bailey, who represents Rudgwick at Horsham District Council, wants permission for 57 homes at Windacres Farm near to land he sold to Berkeley Homes, which is currently building 55 new properties and office space.

Another developer John Beckwith-Smith is looking to build 53 homes on the other side of the B2128 with access off Cox Green Road.

Both sites adjoin the boundary of the Rudgwick parish but are in the Ewhurst parish so Waverley Borough Council will make any final planning decisions.

Residents turned up in force to a Rudgwick Parish Council meeting earlier this month to demonstrate their opposition to the two housing schemes.

Afterwards Sue Kornycky, a Cox Green resident, said: “It really does feel like we are under siege.

“Residents are concerned about the perceived unfairness of building possibly 110 homes, 53 and 57 homes on the two sites, on land within Ewhurst parish but adjoining the hamlet of Cox Green, currently being just under 50 homes, which straddles the Surrey/Sussex border.

“Cox Green would be tripled potentially in size and swamped. There are 36 of the 48 or so homes of Cox Green situated in Sussex, Rudgwick parish, but the impact would be on the whole hamlet and the village of Rudgwick as the nearest settlement.”

While Mr Bailey’s application has yet to be validated by Waverley, since access to the Windacres Farm site is in the Horsham district he has had to submit a second planning application to HDC.

In its objection sent to HDC, Rudgwick Parish Council has raised concerns about intrusion into the countryside, the impact of a new access road on existing properties, road safety and the urbanising effect of proposed development.

It raised many of the same objections to Waverley for Mr Beckwith-Smith’s application adding the fact that Rudgwick’s primary school, pre-school and medical centre are already operating at full capacity.

As such new residents would have to access services in the Waverley borough.

Horsham District Council itself has also sent an objection to Waverley about Mr Beckwith Smith’s housing scheme.

Planning officers said: “On the outskirts of Rudgwick, outside the built-up-area, the development is considered unsustainable for a village of this size and would be a strain on infrastructure and services available for residents.

“If recommended for approval, contributions should be sought to go towards improving service and infrastructure at Rudgwick to mitigate this impact.”

Mrs Kornycky said it added to their ‘frustration’ that they were unable to make their views known to their elected representative as Mr Bailey owns one of the sites.