Don't sell our green space

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Haywards Heath has grown massively in recent years, from c.23,000 people in 2001 to c.31,000 in 2019. Delivering the housing and infrastructure to support this has been at the cost of many green fields within and on the edge of the town. 

In 1997, the council purchased land around Hurstwood Lane with the express purpose of protecting it from development and creating informal open green space for Haywards Heath residents. This land included three areas of ancient woodland and pastureland. 

We think that more of this land around Hurstwood Lane should be protected as green space for current and future generations of Haywards Heath residents and not be developed because:

  • Haywards Heath is expected to deliver 2,318 new dwellings between 2014-15 to 2024-25. See appendix 1. This is over and above levels originally anticipated by the town council and it’s residents. In addition there are over 200 new dwellings being proposed or with approval in Haywards Heath since 1 April 2020.
  • A map provided to support a new school application in Haywards Heath identified areas of likely housing developments in and around the parish boundary beyond 2031 indicating further green field site developments. See appendix 2. 

We, the signatories of this petition, ask Mid Sussex District Council not to sell the following areas of the Hurst Farm site so that they may form part of Haywards Heath’s green infrastructure. 

1. Anscombe Wood including soil translocation area and the field directly to the south. See map at Appendix 3. 

2. All land to the east of Hurstwood Lane. See map at Appendix 3.

This green space is important for the people of Haywards Heath for the following reasons:

  • locally, accessible green space is vital to promote and protect our physical and mental health as well as enhancing quality of life of both adults and children (Improving access to greenspace A new review for 2020 - Public Heath England). 
  • By protecting all of the land to the east of Hurstwood Lane we can create a wildlife corridor to connect the two areas of ancient woodland (Hursthouse Lane Wood and Asylum Wood). This would help to support woodland wildlife which is declining (State of the UK’s Woods and Trees 2021 - The Woodland Trust);
  • Protecting the field south of Anscombe Wood also creates another area of green space for residents of Haywards Heath which could be used to expand the woodland and tree coverage mitigating the impact of climate change. This area of Haywards Heath has a known history of flooding, and increasing tree cover could help to reduce the flood risk.

Please only sign this petition if you live, work or study in the Mid Sussex district area.

Appendix 1

Spreadsheet to be provided to Mid Sussex District Council along with petition.

Appendix 2

On page 73 is a map showing likely housing sites.  

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/749943/Wave_12_Hurst_Farm_Primary_Academy.pdf

Appendix 3

Map showing areas we are requesting Mid Sussex District Council retains and does not sell or develop.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1BGQkpcPe9t9sHW7mqzRzYoX1fJNfIieC&usp=sharing