The inspector found that the proposal did not accord with the Horsham District Framework Plan. He concluded that the benefits from additional market and affordable housing would be outweighed by the harm to the character and appearance of the area and the harm to the setting of the three Grade II listed buildings at the entrance to the Henfield Conservation Area.
Despite the concerns raised strongly by the community, the inspector did not feel that there were any unacceptable road safety issues.
Phil Johnson of the Campaign to Protect Rural Henfield described it as a major victory for the community. “The Inspector emphasised the importance of housing development following local plans and in doing so he upheld the right of our community to decide where housing development should take place. His decision strengthens the role of Neighbourhood Planning and we must now push to get Henfield's Neighbourhood Plan finalised”.
The Neighbourhood Plan, which has been under development for 3 years, can now proceed to a final consultation which is expected to start before Christmas.
Phil thanked the many people who have been involved in the campaign. "The people of Henfield gave us tremendous support throughout the Public Inquiry. We couldn’t have done it without the inspiration of so many people wishing us well and offering practical help. We are particularly grateful to the Parish Council who stood full square behind us.”
Read the full decision here.
See the CPRH page for background to the application and the Public inquiry.