Proposed new development off Gravelye Lane, Lindfield

Lindfield Preservation Society just missed the copydate for Feb's magazine for this article, written by them, about a new development in Lindfield...

Wates the developers have applied for planning permission to build 230 houses on green field land off Gravelye Lane. Combined with the high-density housing estates that Lindfield has already been compelled to accept at Newton Road and Lyoth Lane, this scheme would add 1,000 new residents to the village – a population increase of 20%. It would put 600 additional cars on our roads (figures based on West Sussex County Council census data). This kind of speculative development is grossly disproportionate to the scale of our village and the capacity of its infrastructure.

Nor is there any need for it. There are currently approved sites for more than 4,000 homes in Mid Sussex, which developers have not taken up. This should be more than enough for them to be getting on with, especially as the historical completion rate is c. 400 houses per year.

Even if there were a need, this site is entirely inappropriate for large-scale development. A housing estate of this size would do further, serious damage to a local infrastructure that is already overstretched. Local roads are already congested at peak times, schools and medical facilities are oversubscribed and water and sewage systems are under considerable strain. Bland assurances from the developers that they would work with various bodies to mitigate the impact of their proposals are as meaningless as they are vague.

Our countryside is precious. Once it is gone, it is gone for good. Before more of it is lost, there should at the very least be a convincing demonstration of an overriding local need. There is clearly no such need here.


Concerned residents can help by sending their objections to Mid Sussex District Council Planning Department before the deadline of 8 February.