The Government Inspector examining Horsham’s District Plan has said that Mayfield Market Towns is “not required” and has directed the Council to concentrate on other sites.
In his preliminary report, The Inspector, Geoff Slater has stated that he has “significant concerns” about Mayfields’ location, sustainability and the extent of local opposition.
This is good news for LAMBS’ campaigners who have been working for the past year to expose the truth about Mayfields’ proposals;
''We are absolutely delighted that the inspector has recognised that the site proposed by Mayfield Market Towns is completely the wrong location for a development of that scale,” says LAMBS’ founder, Anthony Watts Williams.
"The Inspector also acknowledges the lack of sustainability of the site, and notes the scheme is not supported by local MP's, District and Parish Councils, local people or most of the landowners.”
The Inspector has now suspended Horsham’s District Plan for six months to allow the council to review its housing figures. Mr Slater wants the council to find sites for around an extra 50 new homes a year - raising annual housing provision to between 750 and 800, which is still far fewer houses than Mayfields was proposing.
Mr Slater’s report states that he considers Mayfield Market Towns to be beyond what the district needs and goes on to explain in more detail why he believes the new town proposal is so unsuitable;
“At present, to my mind significant concerns have been raised about the sustainability of the location of the MMT site, in particular its distance from railway services and the strategic road network and the potential usage and viability of the ‘park and ride’ proposals.
“The deliverability of the preferred 10,000 dwelling option, with employment development, within two local authority areas without their support, and in the face of strong opposition from two local MPs, parish councils and local people, including land owners, is also an issue of concern.”
LAMBS has not yet seen Mayfields’ response the Mr Slater’s report but campaigners have vowed to keep fighting the proposal until Mayfield Market Towns has ceased to promote its proposal and its website has been dismantled.
“Although this is great news, the fight will only really be won when the Mayfields blight has been lifted from our community,” says Mr Watts Williams