LAMBS (Locals Against Mayfield Urban Sprawl) was formed last year to fight proposals for a new town just outside Henfield.

Mayfield Market Town would be approximately the size of Burgess Hill and would be separated from the village by just a mile of countryside. The town’s High Street would be located at Wineham where there would be a large shopping centre including banks, supermarkets and all the usual high street retailers. The plan includes 10,000 new homes, new schools and a huge Park and Ride to carry residents to the railway stations in Burgess Hill. There would also be dedicated coaches running to London and Brighton.

It is clear to us that this town would destroy not only 1200 acres of irreplaceable countryside but it would also devastate the communities we live in and the very essence of our way of life. Mayfield would undoubtedly become a soulless dormitory town, sapping the life out of Henfield and ruining the unique character of all our ancient villages. All this just to make a handful of London speculators unimaginably rich!

Many people have wrongly believed that this proposal is close to the A23, but it is in fact just a few fields from Henfield; on land around Wineham and Shermanbury - extending to Twineham and the edge of Albourne and Blackstone.

The land at risk is a typical piece of rural Sussex; a mixture of unspoiled farmland, woodland and river meadows. Due to the mix of natural marshlands and ancient woodlands, this countryside has a rich diversity of wildlife… there are Nightingales in the Spring, Kingfishers, Skylarks, Barn owls, Lapwings and many, many more beautiful birds living here, plus hundreds more species of flora and fauna.

Mayfield’s directors say this new town would create a place where people could "enjoy the social and economic benefits that could not be met in smaller villages nearby" where people can "enjoy living in a well-designed high quality community, feel safe and spend time with each other taking in a wide range of locally provided activities". Who are they kidding? We have all these things already… that is exactly what Mayfield would destroy!

These same directors - one of whom has been advising the Government on changes to the NPPF - talk about this development being ‘sustainable’, claiming it will be ‘zero carbon’. How can this be when they plan to bus hundreds of people seven miles to the railway station every day? These claims are ridiculous!

There has been no planning application for this scheme… something which has given many local people a false sense of security. However, Mayfield has no intention of applying for planning permission at this stage- instead; it is hoping to have the scheme incorporated into the local plans of Mid Sussex, Horsham, Brighton and Hove, and Crawley. To this effect, over the past few months, Mayfield has put all these councils under excessive pressure to support it. However, both Mid Sussex and Horsham have stood firm… as have the two MPs, who strenuously oppose it. The only people who support it are those who have been persuaded by Mayfield that it could be the answer to their prayers… pushing housing ‘somewhere else’.

Please help us to protect our countryside and villages by joining LAMBS at lambs.org.uk