Capacity Study

Land Use Consultants were commissioned to undertake a study on the capacity of Mid Sussex to accommodate new development. The overall aim of the study was to provide a detailed and robust assessment of the constraints to development in the District in order to understand its capacity to accommodate development and to identify the most sustainable areas for development. This study will form an important part of the Council’s evidence base to support the level of growth proposed in the District Plan and to inform the duty to cooperate discussions with neighbouring and nearby local authorities.

The study looked at four key aspects that are considered to have an impact on the overall capacity of the District to accommodate development: environment, infrastructure, landscape capacity and sustainability.

Its key finding is that Mid Sussex is heavily constrained by environmental designations and by its attractive countryside and high quality landscape character in particular. The study highlights that almost two-thirds of the District is covered by primary level constraints, i.e. areas that are afforded the highest protection under national policy such as the National Park and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the remaining parts of the District, 4% of the area is not covered by either one or more secondary constraints or is not already built upon. Secondary constraint areas are sensitive to development pressures, but have less weight afforded to them by national policy.