Above: Andrew Griffith MP addressing the public meeting about Mayfield in the Henfield Hall, 13 March 2020

Of the strategic site ('new town') proposals, Mayfield was by far the most strongly resisted with 1669 objections focussed particularly on infrastructure, flooding and environment. Only 36 respondees were supportive. The Buck Barn development was also unpopular with 356 objections.

There was much less response to the smaller sites proposed around Henfield, with only 42 objections and 30 supporters for development on Sandgate Nursery (West End Lane) and north of Furners Lane.

The two sites proposed in Small Dole - at Highdown Nurseries and west of Shoreham Road - registered 26 objections and only one in favour.

CPRH had argued that the consultation did not give enough prominence to discussing the smaller sites which were only briefly mentioned in the consultative document. We also found the online consultation process to be very cumbersome and onerous. Moreover, the coronavirus crisis meant that people were unable to access the documents from public buildings and there was little opportunity to organise discussion amongst the community. 

Our arguments are dismissed by the Council:

"The Council has been clear throughout the consultation that written and email comments would be accepted and has already set out the reasons for not extending the consultation – which in summary were that the main consultation events had been completed prior to lockdown and that the Council put in place measures to ensure that all representations were received and that staff remained available in office hours to deal with any questions or queries about the consultation."

The original comments on the consultation will be published online starting from early June onwards which will then allow us to see what additional proposals have been put forward by potential developers.

Click here to read the full report from Horsham District Council