Guide to Objecting

The application has now been approved by the Secretary of State. No further objections are possible. The building of the houses is expected to be started in 2017.


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We are now have a third application from Crest Nicholson and we have to send our objections yet again as none of the previous objections will be carried forward.

The official expiry date for sending your objections was 25th September. If you have not yet sent your objection or want to send another then please send it now as it should be considered up to the date of the MSDC meeting on 29th October.


All objection and comments should be sent to the Planning Officer, Kirsten King, at Mid Sussex District Council (see below).

The process is as follows:

1. The application will be discussed at a public meeting by the Lindfield Parish Council and the Haywards Heath Town Council (complete - rejected at both meetings). The objections and comments we send will be used in their considerations.

2. The Planning Officer will review all the objections and the comments from the public and various authorities (eg. Highways Agency, HHTC etc) and make a decision to recommend approval or rejection of the application.

3. The application will finally be discussed by the Mid Sussex District Council at a public meeting and they will make the final decision (excluding Appeals) to Reject or Approve the application, taking into consideration the Planning Officers comments and all the objections and comments from local residents and others.


Be sure to quote planning application number DM/15/3415

You may wish to mention something in you emails/letters to the effect that failure to implement the policies of the Mid Sussex Local Plan and permit the development of the Birchen Fields site will set a very dangerous precedent that will leave Mid Sussex, and the north of Haywards Heath in particular, a prime target for unwarranted development and will seriously undermine the Lindfield and Haywards Heath Neighbourhood Plans, as this area has been designated as a Green Corridor. If the council designates this area as Green Corridor why is it acceptable for Crest Nicholson to override the wishes of the residents and council.


The official expiry date for sending your objections and comments is Friday 25th September 2015

Short of time? click here for a simple copy & paste email format containing everything you need

If you are resending your original objection please ensure you change the Application number to DM/15/3415, and if sending a letter also change the date. Please search through your records to find your original submission, if you cannot find it then your original letters can be viewed on the MSDC Planning Register as follows: To access your letter on the previous application click here then click 'related documents' followed by 'view associated documents'  The letters can be Viewed, Printed or Downloaded.

When and how to make your objection

  • Register your objection as soon as you can, and before Friday 25th September.
  • Everyone in your house can object individually - but try not to send identical letters (send a letter for each person)
  • Make it personal – what is important to you?
  • You can send more than one letter if you have additional comments/concerns
  • You must include your name and address to make it count
  • Make sure you quote the Latest planning reference DM/15/3415


Where to send your objection
Write to Mid Sussex District Council using one of the following methods:
  • In writing to: Kirsten King, Mid Sussex District Council, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1SS
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Use the online comments facility - click here (you may need to register)

    Ward Councilors
    You can also let your local councillors know of your objection personally by adding the following to your email:
    Lindfield Ward Councillors

    [email protected]

    [email protected]

    Haywards Heath Ward Councillors

    [email protected]

    [email protected]


    We thank you for your support, and hope that with your help, the planning application will be rejected by all councils.

Some ideas for your objection - choose what is important to you

Use your own words where you can – Make it personal, as this will have more impact

A simple letter/email you can copy & paste - click here

For examples of letters and comments on other developments click here

Also refer to the letters of objection on the planning application. See What Can I Do for details of accessing the Planning Application.


Effect on Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas
  • The proposed developments are on the fringes of the High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).
  •  It is also on the border of the Grade II* listed Sunte House. The setting is crucial when reviewing applications around listed buildings. The open countryside to the north and north west of Sunte House together with Wickham Farm also Grade II*  contribute to the countryside setting befitting a house of this status.
  • The latest application tries to lessen the effect on the Grade II* listed Sunte House by removing development from the southern field but light polution will still occur from street and house lighting in the new estate and will be directly visibly from Sunte House, especially in the winter months.
  • The draft Haywards Heath plan shows the fields are part of the Green Corridor and has not been allocated for development
  • The already narrow strategic gap between Haywards Heath and Lindfield/Cuckfield and Ardingly will be reduced. It will be very detrimental to the character of the  village and the rural northern edge of Haywards Heath
  • The development would substantially impact upon the open character and setting of the north of the town.
  • The history and character of our towns and villages are under threat and could be lost forever.


Wildlife
  • What have you seen, and when/how many times? 
  • There are many bats, birds, badgers, deer, small mammals (including dormice) butterflies, insects and reptiles (including grasssnakes) living on the site, Great Crested Newts have also been found in various locations – you won’t see them anymore….
  • Have you seen any protected species?
  • Existing wildlife corridors will be reduced


Loss of Trees
  • Tree preservation orders have been placed on the mature Birch Trees in Birchen Lane, but construction traffic could well damage many of the tree root systems. Did you know it can take years for a tree to die from this kind of damage which isn’t always evident at the time of the construction work?
  • What damage will be done to the trees that remain? Lots will be pruned back to accommodate the houses – a great loss of wildlife habitat.
  • There is an area of Historic Woodland on the edge of the proposed site, what will the construction of the houses have on the wildlife in this area/ it is likely that they will be scared away and not return for years, if ever!


Do we need these houses - can the area cope

  • Mid Sussex has already approved plans for more than 4000 homes, these should be used before any further planning approvals.
  • We must stop adding houses to existing villages and towns. Our towns and villages are full and cannot cope with any more housing.
  • These houses are very unlikely to accomodate existing residents and just encourage more people to move to the area.
  • We already have capacity problems with water supply, medical facilities, schools, parking, leisure facilities etc
  • This development is not in the Neighbourhood Plans and is being forced upon us by the developers.
  • There is no need for this development, we must not allow the developers to ruin this beautiful area of countryside.
  • Haywards Heath and Lindfield are rural areas and the houses that are being squeezed into every available space are ruining the rural aspect. It is time to put a stop to this encroachment into our beautiful countryside and open spaces.
  • Once the fields are built on they are ruined forever and the towns and vilages of Sussex will never be the same again.


Highway Safety, Traffic, Parking
  • Housing on the Birchen Fields and the extension onto the Wickham Fields could add around 500 car journeys per day trying to turn into Portsmouth Lane and adding to the current traffic volume – imagine the problems?
  • The proposed development provides no sustainable local jobs. Will the people who live there work in Haywards Heath (where there are few jobs) or will they commute to Crawley, Brighton and London?
  • If they commute then rail and road traffic will increase – more traffic to the railway station and more traffic out through Cuckfield, Balcombe and Ardingly – neither of which have the capacity to take this (the London Road/Ardingly Road roundabout in Cuckfield is already nearly at full capacity).
  • Reduced chance of a seat on trains – do you have to stand now?
  • More difficult to find a parking space at the railway station
  • Car parks in town and Sainsburys are already full
  • What about increased traffic outside the schools – it is already very dangerous at times, what effect will all the extra traffic have?
  • Will it get even harder to drive down Gander Hill with the added traffic?

Flood Risk
  • The fields on which Crest Nicholson wish to build, is in part a designated flood plain, and lie either side of the brook that runs down through parts of Lindfield, this water course is already causing flooding concerns for residents of Brook Lane, Gatesmead, By Sunte, Sunte Avenue, Brookway and adjoining roads. Building on these fields with the associated run off can only exacerbate the problem for properties in these areas.
  • Will the proposed flood prevention measures actually work bearing in mind the complexity of the natural drainage of the site?
  • What will happen if it floods? Will the developer be responsible? It is too late to say it should not have happened – after it has flooded
  • Have you suffered flooding?  What are your concerns?

Noise, Disturbance & Pollution
  • The Birchen and Wickham Fields are a tranquil setting with little light or noise disturbance.  A unique place in the countryside near Town.
  • We will lose a valuable and well used amenity for local people. 
  • Local air quality will deteriorate 
  • Light pollution will increase - houses, roads and the roundabout will be well lit and spoil the character of the surrounding area.

Impact on Local Schools
  • There are no school places available at any of the Lindfield Primary Schools, Hayward Heath Schools are likewise full, with only Warden Primary on America Lane having vacancies

Overshadowing / Loss of Privacy
  • Many local people would lose the privacy of their own back gardens.
  • Natural light levels for some local people could be reduced.
  • Some houses and several back gardens would be overlooked. This is a loss of amenity.


Further information regarding commenting on the Planning Application can also be found on the  Wildlife page


These are the guidelines provided by the council for comments on the proposal

All comments we receive about a planning application will be considered, but only planning issues can be taken into account.

These might include:

  • The effect of the proposed development on the appearance of the area
  • The quality of the design
  • Significant overbearing impact and loss of outlook
  • Highway safety issues
  • Loss of important trees
  • Intrusion into the countryside
  • Significantly increased noise and disturbance
    These do not include:
  • Loss of view
  • Loss of property value