LETTER: This is the world now

Further to my letter on the shock horror planning consent for 50 houses on Mitchelswood Farm, Newick, it is not difficult to pin down reasons for this decision.

Even though the farm in question would normally have been treated as part of the countryside for planning purposes, once it becomes redundant it immediately becomes “brownfield” land, up for grabs in the development market.

It is in fact just the sort of site eagerly sought by housing developers in the knowledge that they will be supported by planning inspectors acting on Government policy to allow as much housing as possible, from the viewpoint of a national shortage of housing (claimed by developers despite their well-known practice of “land banking”, it has to be said).

The presumption in favour of development now runs through the whole planning system like the lettering in a stick of Brighton rock, and is the basis of many a planning decision, no matter how controversial. This is the world we now live in, and 2017 will not see any change to that sorry tale.

Michael Parfect,

Cranedown, Lewes