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Mid Sussex District Council Finally Get The District Plan Over The Line

29th March 2018 | By Peter Chapman

Mid Sussex District Council finally have their District Plan in place after they voted in favour of adopting the inspector's recommended modifications in order to make the plan sound.

50 of the 54 councillors were in attendance on Wednesday evening (March 28) to take part in the named vote in which 49 voted in favour and just one against - Hassocks' Lib Dem Councillor Sue Hatton.

The District Plan sets out where houses are to be built in the District up until 2034. It also finally provides protection to green fields as identified in each town and parish neighbourhood plan - some which have been powerless to do so for the past 4 years.

The adoption of the plan will also see the introduction of the 'Community Infrastructure Levy' which will see house builders making an ever greater contribution to local faciltiies than what they currently deliver via the Section 106 mechanism.

Council Leader Garry Wall welcomed the decision saying: “This is an important milestone. The Mid Sussex District Plan will guide development across our area, supporting sustainable growth and jobs whilst also protecting the unique character of Mid Sussex.

“With an approved District Plan in place and a five-year rolling housing supply, we have much greater control over how the District develops and we are significantly less vulnerable to developers pursuing speculative developments.

“The Plan will help to provide the affordable homes and the essential infrastructure that is required for Mid Sussex to grow in a sustainable way. There is clearly a need for more housing throughout the Country and Mid Sussex is no exception. The Plan will help to ensure that much needed housing is delivered whilst protecting the unique characteristics of Mid Sussex.”

This Is Not Cause For A Grand Celebration
Having the District Plan in place is of course a good thing, but it should not be a time for the Conservative Councillors to be having a celebration about what a wonderful job they've done, that should be saved for the officers who got them out of this mess.

The people of Mid Sussex should not forget how the original District Plan fell at the first hurdle in 2013 due to it's failure to co-operate with neighbouring districts to see if Mid Sussex could help with their unmet housing needs. This fact was conveniently forgotten last night during all the mutual back slapping.

In the intervening period there's been countless planning applications that have gone before the district planning committee where they've been powerless to protect valued green field land due to the lack of a valid 5-year-land supply document.

How many millions would Burgess Hill have in the bank to spend on new facilities like a new community arts and entertainment venue if the CIL charging structure been in place before the circa 1,000 new homes had been approved for Keymer Tiles and the Kings Way developments?

The 500+ home develpment on land East of Kings Way - approved outside of the CIL charging structure. A loss of funds for Burgess Hill?

Its the start of a new beginning in Mid Sussex, and especially for Burgess Hill as our town is taking the lion's share of all the new housing for the district.

Let us hope that the promised improvements to the town in turn for taking thousands of new homes are delivered in full. We'll be watching VERY closely.

Spread the word! Mid Sussex's District Plan is finally in place.

Got an opinion on this story? Leave a comment below.....
Do you think that Burgess Hill will actually start to see all the required infrastructure and improvements to our local facilities in order to cope with the projected rapid growth of our population?

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