Mystery Leaflet Drop Claims Mid Sussex Conservatives Will Dump More Homes On Burgess Hill To Spare Ansty & Cuckfield
4th September 2022 |
A leaflet has been delivered to some households across Burgess Hill, alleging that the Conservative-controlled Mid Sussex District Council are deliberately avoiding allocating new housing in areas such as Haywards Heath, Ansty, Cuckfield and Lindfield in order to preserve their seats on the council come election time.
The leaflet takes aim at council leader Jonathan Ash-Edwards, accusing him of folding under public pressure from the 'Cuckstye' campaigners at a public meeting where he announced that the 1,600 homes proposed for that part of
Mid Sussex would not be considered for the updated District Plan - he made this announcement without it going through council!
An 8-minute 'highlight video' from the public meeting held on June 10th can be found here: https://e.pcloud.link/publink/show?code=KPPotalK
Mapping Out The Heartland
The leaflet that has been circulated over the weekend, included a map which suggests that the Conservatives are happy to hammer Burgess Hill, Hassocks, Hurstpierpoint and East Grinstead with new homes in order to preserve their 'heartland' and ultimately their votes to ensure they remain councillors at a time when the majority of voters living south of Haywards Heath have given up on the party at local level.
In the recent rubberstamping of the Development Plan Document for the District Plan to ensure there's enough houses for any shortfall in the '5 year land supply' the Conservative Council voted to pile more homes on to Burgess Hill, South of Folders Lane, rather than at Haywards Heath Golf Course in Lindfield.
The small committee who decided which sites would be put to the council for consideration was not even politically balanced to reflect those who were elected in 2019 - an issue that still angers 'opposition' councillors to this day.
This Monday, the new politically-balanced working group are meeting again at the MSDC offices to continue their work on the updated District Plan. Although Mid Sussex has a valid District Plan, it needs updating regularly to
ensure there are enough homes coming forward over a 15 year period to satisfy government targets.
When the long-list of proposed new sites were put forward earlier this year for consideration, many of the plots were in the supposed 'Tory Heartland.' So shocked were the Conservative Councillors, they had officers stop work on the plan in order to try to get Central Government to recalculate the housing need figures. The delay was also in hope that new legislation would come forward to protect green spaces.
Cynics would think the delay was actually done to ensure the updated plan doesn't get anywhere near approval ahead of the May 2023 elections where the Conservatives face the real threat of losing control of the District Council for the first time in 20 years.
A six week consultation could have happened in Febraury 2022 had the Conservatives not hit the pause button - more on this from Joshua Powling from Sussex World here.
So, with the flyer going out just a few days before the working group meet again, does someone know something the rest of us don't? Are the Conservatives about to officially remove the 1.600 homes for Cuckfield and Ansty from consideration and once again dump on Burgess Hill and Hassocks?
If history repeats itself, without good reason,
then those living North and South of the 'Heartland' will go mad and questions will be asked of the council's objectivity when including and discounting sites from the plan.
|Spread the word, Are the Mid Sussex Conservatives about to dump more houses on Burgess Hill to save their 'heartland'?