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How does the Local Plan affect Muggeridge Field?

The Horsham District Local Plan allocates sites for development. It allocates a mixture of large strategic sites and smaller sites. The Local Plan has a 15 year timeframe and is updated every 5 years. It has to allocate a sufficient number of sites to meet the Government housing target for the next 5 years.

Planning applications for housing developments are assessed against the Local Plan. If a site has been allocated for development in the Local Plan it is unlikely that planning permission will be refused. If the site hasn’t been allocated for housing in the local plan, it is less likely to be granted. Therefore, it is important that Muggeridge Field isn’t allocated for housing development.

As part of the planning process, all potential development sites in the district were assessed in a “Strategic Housing and Land Availability Assessment” (known as a SHELAA). Some sites were considered to be unavailable for development but those that were available were then graded as follows:

  • Very Positive Impacts
  • Favourable Impacts
  • Neutral Impacts
  • Unfavourable Impacts
  • Very negative impacts

Sites were then allocated for development from the list of graded sites. The sites with the lower impacts were selected first.

The area of Muggeridge Field owned by West Sussex County Council was included in the SHELAA. The site is known as ‘Land south of Athelstan Way’ (SHELAA Ref: SA060). This site was assessed as being available for development but was graded as ‘unfavourable impacts’. Some of the sites that were graded as ‘unfavourable impacts’ were allocated for development in the draft Local Plan. However, Muggeridge Field wasn’t one of them.

We don’t want Muggeridge Field to be allocated for development in the Local Plan that is being written now, nor in any future Local Plan. So, we need to make sure that the benefits of Muggeridge Field are fully appreciated by Horsham District Council and are represented in their assessments of the site.