The objections came from all over Henfield. Most common were the concerns about access issues: the traffic congestion along Nep Town Road and the safety on the blind bend with Dropping Holms where the developer proposes to put the new access road. It is clearly an issue that people feel passionately about, often from first-hand experience of having had to swerve to avoid a head-on collision or having their car damaged while parked. Expert reports from the developers assuring us that there is no problem did nothing to assuage the concerns.
Some of the strongest objections were about the loss of our rural environment and the impact that will have on the character of Henfield. Many gave personal accounts of why they value our countryside heritage and how damaging the loss of farmland and public amenity would be if the application were approved. Concerns about nature conservation were prominent and the value of the Downslink for wildlife and leisure was emphasised repeatedly.
There were planning arguments advanced too. The field by Sandy Lane has been rejected by inspectors on a number of previous occasions dating back at least as far as 1954. Horsham District Council has gone to great lengths to develop a strategic plan which delivers the housing needed while protecting our rural landscapes. That plan is currently being delivered on target so there is no need for speculative developments that deliver the wrong houses in the wrong places.
Some objections reflected the anger and cynicism engendered by the way Henfield's Neighbourhood Plan was dismissed after years of painstaking efforts and a 94.3% vote in favour in our referendum. The new Neighbourhood Plan that is under development is enmired in bureaucracy and even after 2 years work it has not yet reached the stage where it is legally recognised.
CPRH submitted a number of formal objections on behalf of the community. You can read them by following these links:
Our principal submission
Supplementary video material on flooding issues
Supplementary video material on Road Safety Issues
Supplementary Transport Analysis