Sussex

Broadbridge Heath protest 'to save much-loved land'

Broadbridge Heath protest Image copyright Broadbridge Heath Parish Council
Image caption Organisers said about 130 people and 30 dogs turned out to protest against the development

About 130 people gathered to protest against plans to build 165 houses and a care home in West Sussex.

Horsham District Council had refused permission last June for the plan north of Broadbridge Heath but the developer appealed against the decision.

The parish council said the site was residents' closest accessible countryside and a highly valued environment popular with dog walkers.

Developer Gleeson said there was a need for housing and care facilities.

A planning inquiry starting on Wednesday at Horsham council chamber will consider the firm's appeal.

'Local support'

Council officers originally recommended the development for approval but Jonathan England, vice chairman of Broadbridge Heath Parish Council, said there was huge relief when councillors turned it down.

He said organisers were thankful for the strong turnout at the demonstration.

"We will be using the pictures in the public appeal next week as evidence for the local support to save this much loved part of the countryside for agricultural and communal use," he said.

Image copyright Broadbridge Heath Parish Council
Image caption The parish council said the site was popular but the developer said there was a desperate housing need

Gleeson Strategic Land said the scheme dealt with all the requirements needed in modern housing development.

"This proposal addresses a desperate housing need in the area for affordable housing and care facilities for the elderly," it said in a statement.

"The social and economic benefits of the scheme are apparent.

"The scheme is considered to be an appropriate form of sustainable development and this was confirmed when senior officers at the council recommended planning permission should be granted."

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