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Developers who quashed Sussex neighbourhood plan lose appeal

Published: Thursday, 15th December 2016

Javid refuses appeal for redevelopment of the former Sandgate Nurseries, a decision that comes after the developers successfully challenged the lawfulness of the approved Henfield Neighbourhood Plan…

Developers who mounted a successful High Court challenge over a Sussex neighbourhood plan have failed to win an appeal over a redevelopment proposal for the vacant nursery garden site at the centre of the case.

Stonegate Homes and Littleworth Properties Ltd wanted to redevelop land at the former Sandgate Nurseries, Henfield near Horsham with 72 new homes, 29 of which would be affordable. The scheme was refused by the district council.

The developers challenged the lawfulness of the approved Henfield Neighbourhood Plan because their site wasn’t identified in the plan for development as it is situated to the west of the village which the local community believed would cause significant traffic disruption if it were developed.

That success has proved pyrrhic, though. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has agreed with the inspector who held the recovered appeal inquiry and recommended that the appeal should be dismissed.

The Secretary of State noted that the planning authority could demonstrate a five-year supply of housing sites. He agreed with the inspector that the scheme was not in accordance with the development plan overall.

Javid concluded that a number of matters weighed against the proposals in terms of harm to the landscape character and appearance of the area and the setting of a listed building. Crucially, design issues surrounding the scheme also proved a key factor in its refusal.

Read the decision letter.

Roger Milne