Special Town Council meeting - Core Strategy


The Town Council will meet on Tuesday 27 October to discuss the detail of its submission document to Mid Sussex District Council for them then to consider when finalising the submission Core Strategy document in the next few weeks.  


The Core Strategy will determine the level and quality of development at East Grinstead up until 2026.


Of particular interest will be the decision which Town Councillors choose to take over the question of strategic housing on Imberhorne/Tilkhurst or Hill Place Farms.  MSDC has been discussing between 570 and 1140 houses.  The Town Council reject the higher number but are considering what position to take over the 570 option.  In the view of the PRC the evidence produced by MSDC does not support any strategic housing whatsoever.  West Sussex County Council officers also warn against the adverse effects, on the transport network, of the strategic development numbers put forward by MSDC.  Indeed recent transport reports can only demonstrate the potential for absorbing 600 homes in total.  Last week's Town Meeting was unanimous in rejecting the proposition of strategic development - whether as currently floated on Imberhorne Farm or on the other sites also considered by MSDC on Hill Place and Tilkhurst Farms.  Concern was raised about the likelihood of developers pushing for increased development, by stealth, once the existing urban boundary is breached, leading to sprawling development as far as Crawley Down and traffic chaos. Tuesday's Special Town Council Meeting will indicate whether the Town's Councillors endorse that call for caution.


In addition to proposing this strategic housing, the District Council are proposing substantial housing on sites within the existing town boundary - they do not identify these specifically but it appears to be at least 2,400 houses (including the re-development of the Windmill Lane site of Imberhorne School but excluding 'windfall' developments).  The total number eventually settled on will have a big effect on how East Grinstead & the surrounding villages will be affected by increased traffic and commuters.


There are apparently differing views on the Town Council about what line to take on the MSDC proposal for strategic development on Imberhorne, Tilkhurst or Hill Place Farms (these will not include a 'Relief' Road).  It is not known how closely weighted the two sides of the argument will be.  Tuesday's Town Council meeting will aim to come to an agreed position.


The meeting is being held at 7.45pm in the Council Chamber at East Court and it is open to the public.   No doubt Town Councillors will welcome the interest of residents as they debate whether to accept or reject the strategic development proposed by MSDC, as well as other issues.  


The PRC would encourage all supporters who are able to go along to the Special Town Council to do so, to demonstrate support for Town Councillors arguing for the strongest possible line to be taken with Mid Sussex.  Without robust evidence MSDC should not be considering mass-housebuilding - evidence that the District Council has been unable to present.


More information and background - including the proposed draft of the Town Council's document is available on the PRC website by following this link