Homes appeal decision ‘good news’ for Henfield

Mike Morgan has welcomed a Government decision on 72 homes in Henfield
Mike Morgan has welcomed a Government decision on 72 homes in Henfield

A Government decision to refuse 72 homes on the western edge of Henfield has been welcomed as ‘very good news’ for the village.

Developers Stonegate Homes and Littleworth Properties are looking to build on land at Sandgate Nurseries off West End Lane, but planning permission was refused by Horsham District Council in late 2014.

They then appealed against the decision but a planning inspector upheld the district council’s decision and last month the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government backed the inspector’s conclusions.

Mike Morgan, Henfield’s independent district councillor, said: “I am delighted with the secretary of state’s decision to agree with the inspector and refuse planning permission for this development.

“We have two building sites in Henfield in the course of construction at the moment which will deliver 262 extra houses which have still to be absorbed into the village and this decision shows how important the Horsham District Planning Framework is in preventing further development which does not comply with its conditions.”

Schemes for 102 homes east of Manor Close and 160 homes off West End Lane have both been approved on appeal by the planning inspector in recent years.

Meanwhile a judicial review brought by the same developers behind the Sandgate Nurseries housing proposals successfully quashed Henfield’s neighbourhood plan in the High Court last year.

Mr Morgan added: “Following the disappointing decision by the courts on the judicial review concerning the Henfield neighbourhood plan this was very good news for the village.”

Ray Osgood, chairman of Henfield Parish Council, said: “Inappropriate development proposed by Stonegate Homes Ltd and Littleworth Properties Ltd at Sandgate Nurseries, West End Lane has been prevented because the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has supported the inspector in his recommendation to dismiss the appeal brought

forward by the above-named developers.

“The developers, by way of a judicial review which brought down the Henfield neighbourhood plan, appear to have sought to replace the housing numbers identified in the neighbourhood plan by a development outside the built up area boundary.

“This was neither in the local Plan nor the Henfield neighbourhood plan.

“Whilst the Henfield neighbourhood plan was not able to defend against the development, fortunately the Horsham District Planning Framework was able to prevent further unwanted development in Henfield by demonstrating a five-year

rolling supply of land.

“Henfield must decide whether it is to produce another neighbourhood plan with all the work that this involves.”

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