In general, we are doing well against the targets, with 20 new dwellings completed in the year.

Policy

A decade on now and Mid Sussex District Council continues to struggle on its District Plan delivery, and further delays mean that the area still cannot demonstrate the all-important 5-year housing supply, against figures which are still to be examined.

The Plan is currently at Examination, but the examiner has determined that Mid Sussex should take Crawley’s ‘unmet need’ and therefore the housing target needs to rise another 30% from 800 additional dwellings per year to around 1,050. Considering that Mid Sussex started this process several years ago at around 500 per year, recent numbers are now double this.  MSDC are now being forced to look again at Neighbourhood Plan contributions – even those that have been examined and ‘made’, and we await to see the outcome of that. 

New Developments

The Parish Council regrets the new development along Broad Street – the first 4 currently in construction with an additional 3 in the grounds of Riseholme at the end of the bypass with approval. This area was the last gap in the parish along the road between the village and Haywards Heath. Unfortunately, our comments, and our Neighbourhood Plan policies carried no weight at the Appeal compared to the Mid Sussex’s continued lack of 5-year housing supply.

The public open spaces accompanying the two developments at Horsefield Green and Buttinghill have taken considerable efforts to progress towards completion this year.

At Horsefield Green, we are awaiting the freehold transfer to the parish council ownership. This is taking some time. We will then be undertaking some landscape works to complement that undertaken by the developer.

At Buttinghill Drive, a number of discussions between the developer, Mid Sussex and residents over the drainage pond that has been in a failed state for 3 years, has started to gain some traction. We are hopeful that MSDC will finally (and after numerous false starts) issue the planning Enforcement Notice.  Taylor Wimpey assures us that they wish to now see the issue resolved.  The date for the land transfer of this open space is 3 years after final occupation, which means Summer 2018.

We are now seeing the commencement of the Penland Farm development at the end of Hanyle Lane. We await to see the traffic and lorry movement impact on Cuckfield from this major extension to Haywards Heath. There is no mitigation required by the planners.

Extensions

The number of applications for conversions and extensions has dropped off a little this year, to 41 (last year was 44) as highlighted in the Neighbourhood Plan monitoring. Those we see are generally of good quality, design and construction and aim to retain the character and distinctiveness of the village.  

Planning Decisions and Appeals

Whilst the number of applications has reduced a little, the parish planning committee recommendations have differed from the final decision made by Mid Sussex planning authority by an increased amount (12, against 4 last year).  We need to discuss this increased difference of opinion to see if there are any themes.

As mentioned, the outcomes of the Broad Street appeal were not as we hoped. Given the application went against a large number of the Neighbourhood Plan policies, this means that the policies no longer have the weight expected, and won’t do until Mid Sussex finally get their District Plan adopted

The Courtmead Road development continues to be embroiled in legal issues, with Mid Sussex losing the Judicial Review but continuing to proceed with the development. Another High Court case is expected shortly.

Consultations

CPC has also responded with feedback on numerous occasions to the District Plan and several other Neighbourhood Plans in the District.