'People are furious', anger over housing proposals that would see 'towns and village merge'

Tap to watch a video report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham

Plans to build over seven thousand homes in Mid-Sussex have been met with concern and anger.

The district council is updating its local plan which sets out how much development is needed by 2038.

Having already allocated 11,500 properties in 2018 the authority now needs to earmark land to meet its 18,500 target.

Thousands of homes are being proposed at land on Sayers Common Credit:

'People are furious' says opposition Liberal Democrat councillor Alison Bennett .

"These are villages that have already built hundreds of houses over the last decade or so, and they followed every single requirement that has been asked of them by Government to try and tackle the affordability crisis.

"What we've actually got now is a proposal that would actually double the size of the communities in Hurstpierpoint, Albourne and Sayers Common, you know, thousands of houses.

"These proposals permanently change the nature of this part of Sussex with vast swathes of housing, and eventually you'll end up with a situation where the towns and villages here will merge."

  • Watch: people in Hurstpierpoint give their thoughts on the proposals

  • Where Mid Sussex District council has suggested allocated some of the 7,000 homes needed

A decision on where to build the houses must be adopted by 2023 by Mid Sussex District council.

"Without an approved District Plan" councillor Salisbury, cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, said “we lose control over new planning applications and leave ourselves vulnerable to developers pursuing speculative housing developments”.

"The standard method for Housing Need as laid out in Government policy sets the required number of new homes in Mid Sussex up to 2038 at around 18,500. Of these about 11,500 are already planned for in the District Plan, the Site Allocatiosn DPD, and Neighbourhood Plans.

"This means that the new Plan must identify sites to meet at least 7,000 new homes. The method for selecting sites to be allocated has been via a transparent and robust site selection process".

  • Liberal Democrat Councillor Alison Bennett questions whether building more properties is actually solving the housing crisis

A Mid Sussex District Council spokesperson said:"District councils are required to update their local plans every 5 years and that time is now for Mid Sussex. We have published initial proposals for discussion, debate and consultation which will start with Scrutiny Committee this coming Wednesday."

A consultation is expected to begin next month.