A proposed new town of up to 10,000 homes in mid-Sussex could cause flooding problems for the Shoreham area, say campaigners.

The siting of such huge housing development in the countryside near Henfield is being fiercely opposed by residents of that area, but their campaign is being supported by many Shoreham residents who fear that resultant flooding downstream through the Adur valley could overwhelm the town’s new flood defences.

Developers want to build what they are calling Mayfield Market Town on open land in the parishes of Henfield, Shermanbury and Woodmancote – low-lying land within the Adur valley. They say the flooding fears are unfounded and that modern flood management measures will actually reduce rather than increase the run-off into the River Adur.

Despite being deemed “unsustainable” by a Government Planning Inspector in a 2018 inquiry, and being excluded from the Mid-Sussex Plan, the proposal has still not been ruled out. The local planning authority, Horsham District Council, is preparing a public consultation exercise about future development sites, and campaigners are pressing for Mayfield to be excluded from the final options.

The main campaigning group, Lambs (Locals against Mayfield building sprawl), is hoping public pressure will finally see off the proposal, and their Lambs website gives all the background information and advice on how to express views.

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Last modified: June 28, 2021