Last year was a year of ups and downs for Muggeridge Field but 2022 looks like it could be a challenging year. It seems likely that we will be faced with another planning application to develop the field. If that happens, we will need to come together again to save it, as we did 10 years ago.
The majority of Muggeridge Field is owned by West Sussex County Council (WSCC). Their last attempt to develop the field was in 2011. That ended with their appeal being refused by the Planning Inspectorate in 2012.
In March 2021, WSCC announced a joint venture with a development and construction company – Lovell Partnerships Ltd, which is part of the Morgan Sindall Group. The aim of the joint venture is to maximise financial returns by developing land that WSCC considers to be surplus land.
We now know that Muggeridge Field was allocated to the joint venture from the outset, with the intention of developing it in 2022. They need to get planning permission before they can start development work. That means they have to submit a planning application to the Local Planning Authority, which is Horsham District Council.
However, planning applications are being held up at the moment by a water supply issue, which was raised in September 2021. Horsham District Council is trying to resolve the issue but hasn’t said how long this will take. We don’t know what impact this will have on WSCC’s intention to develop Muggeridge Field in 2022.
If Muggeridge Field had been designated as a Local Green Space in the Neighbourhood Plan, it would be protected against development (find out more). Despite this setback, the Keep Muggeridge Field Green team will continue to campaign for the protection of this valuable community asset.
Since launching our website in March last year, we have had over 450 visitors to it. We would like to thank everyone who visited our site for taking an interest in the future of the field. We may need your help in the coming months to protect it. So, if you haven’t already done so, please sign up for email updates on our home page or follow us on Twitter.