Scheme for new Burgess Hill homes given thumbs up

Outline plans for 30 new homes in Burgess Hill have been approved by Mid Sussex District Council.

The application will see Woodfield House, in Isaacs Lane, demolished and replaced with one, two and three-bedroom houses, nine of which will be classed as affordable.

Members of the council’s planning committee gave unanimous approval during an online meeting on Thursday, despite concerns the development contravened a number of planning policies.

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The site is in the countryside, outside the built-up area boundary.

These two points usually lead to a rejection but, because the site butts on to what will be the Northern Arc, planning officers felt there were ‘important material considerations that justify an approval’.

Case officer Steven King said: “The character of this area is going to change very significantly in the relatively near future and we feel a satisfactory layout can be brought forward to fit in with the Northern Arc.”

The Northern Arc will be a massive development made up of 3,500 homes, 25 hectares employment land, a primary and secondary school, and a northern link road.

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Robert Eggleston (Lib Dem, Burgess Hill-Meeds) was worried that allowing this application would open the council to other developments around the Northern Arc land.

And, with the planning officer’s report containing a number of points weighing against the application, Mike Pulfer (Con, Haywards Heath-Franklands) asked whether it had been submitted a little too early.

His main concerns centred around education and the current lack of public transport in the area.

The report said current schools would not have the capacity to take in any children living at the site, meaning they would have to wait for the schools planned for the Northern Arc to be built.

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Andrew MacNaughton (Con, Ardingly & Balcombe) did not share those concerns, adding: “We’re going to move very rapidly on the Northern Arc. I don’t believe this is premature.”

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