Inspector finds Site Allocations Development Plan Document to be ‘sound’
PR2437/MF/JH - 06/06/2022
The Mid Sussex Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD) has been found ‘sound’ by a Government appointed Planning Inspector.
The Mid Sussex District Plan 2014-2031, which was adopted in March 2018, sets out in broad terms what, where, when and how development will take place in Mid Sussex up until 2031.
Although the Planning Inspector recognised that the Council had identified sites in the District Plan for most of the development needed, he required the Council to identify more sites to ensure the housing and employment needs of the District are met in full. The Site Allocation DPD addresses that requirement and recommends 22 housing and 7 employment sites, as well as a Science and Technology Park to the west of Burgess Hill.
Work to prepare the Site Allocations DPD began in 2018. It has been shaped by two public consultations before being submitted to the Independent Planning Inspector for final assessment and a public examination in December 2020.
Mid Sussex District Council has now received the Independent Inspector’s report on the Site Allocations DPD. The report concludes that the document is compliant will all legal requirements and has been positively prepared, is justified, effective and is consistent with national planning policy.
The Planning Inspector’s report includes several Main Modifications to the Site Allocations DPD that must be made by the Council before the plan is adopted. One of the modifications is to reduce the number of homes allocated at Selsfield Road in Ardingly from 70 to 35, in order to lessen the impact on the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:
“The Site Allocations Development Plan Document was required as part of the adoption of the current District Plan in order to ‘top up’ housing supply in the coming years. The finding by the Independent Inspector that the Document is sound and can be adopted is an important step. Once adopted, it will help to protect Mid Sussex from speculative, unplanned developments by ensuring we continue to have a five year housing land supply.
“I am also delighted that the Inspector has approved the Council’s preferred location for a new regionally-significant Science and Technology Park along the A2300 west of Burgess Hill. This is an important part of our local economic plan to ensure Mid Sussex continues to attract innovative businesses and high quality jobs to our area”.
The Independent Planning Inspector’s final report is available to view on the Mid Sussex District Council website at www.midsussex.gov.uk/SitesDPD.
Mid Sussex District Council will be recommended to adopt the Site Allocations DPD at a meeting on 29 June 2022. Once adopted, the Site Allocations DPD will have full weight when making decisions on planning applications.