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Joint Press Release

The public meeting planned for 30 March 2020 at the Clair Hall Haywards’ Heath has been cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 virus. A Joint public meeting was being organised by Lindfield Rural Parish Council and Lindfield Parish Council, in conjunction with Haywards Heath Town Council and Ardingly Parish Council, to discuss the development of Haywards Heath Golf Club. Details of the Planning Application can be found in note 3 below. The main aim of the meeting was to give the developers an opportunity to present their proposals and collect the views of residents to inform the respective Councils when making their responses to the Planning Authority (Mid Sussex District Council). In addition to the public attendance, the Councils had not only intended to invite the developers, but also representatives of the Planning Authority, landowners, Golf Club, elected councillors for Parish, Town, District and County, as well as the local Member of Parliament, and other interested parties to the meeting. It was also planned that in addition to public contribution, these representatives would also be given an opportunity to comment on the development as well, as part of the public debate.

Trevor Webster, Chair of Lindfield Rural Parish Council, said on behalf of all the Councils “We are very disappointed that we have had to cancel the meeting, but public safety is paramount and the virus risk cannot be ignored. Our response, recognising that the development of the Golf Club is a highly controversial issue, will be to ask MSDC to suspend the planning application process until such time as this important public meeting can be held. Without the meeting, it places the Community at a disadvantage in not being able have their voices fully heard. I would, therefore, urge MSDC to recognise that we are in a position where it is not “business as usual” but a public health crisis where absolute flexibility is needed and therefore MSDC should abandon the 10 April closing date for comments on the application until very much later in the year”.

The Four Councils, in this unprecedented collective approach, will continue to seek the views of residents via Survey Monkey, Facebook and email. They will also continue to advise residents that they should sent copies of their views direct to Mid Sussex District Council Planning Portal, but in doing so we still believe that holding a public meeting remain an essential ingredient in gathering a comprehensive view from the Community, especially from those residents not familiar with social media.

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