Action group set up to fight developers

Residents in Mannings Heath have formed an action group (MHAG) in order to fight a proposed housing development by The Exclusive Hotels Group, which runs Mannings Heath Golf Club.

On Tuesday, May 7, Mannings Heath village hall was packed with over 150 residents wanting to hear the latest on the proposal for 64 new homes, as well as to vote on the action group’s new committee and constitution, which were approved.

Roger Cato, who was elected chairman of the group, said: “We are organised and ready to challenge the development plans. This scheme is completely ill-conceived. Mannings Heath could become the size of a small town.

“We are determined to protect the village lifestyle which attracted our residents here in the first place, but also to preserve it for future generations too.”

The proposed site for the development on Sadlers Farm includes an Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty (AONB) at the junction
of The Quarries, Green Lane,
Winterpit Lane and Winterpit Close.

The key areas of concern for the group are protection of the environment, preservation of the village,  the infrastructure currently in place and whether the village can handle a development of this size.

Mannings Heath is a category two settlement, meaning any planning should accommodate only small scale developments or minor extensions. MHAG committee secretary Alan Langford said: “We are opposed to developments in any AONBs. Approving this scheme will open up our countryside to further inappropriate building and urbanisation.”

Local parishes have been asked to come up with Neighbourhood Plans to sit alongside Horsham District Council’s Local Development Framework (LDF). With no up-to-date LDF, the Government’s planning inspector has overturned several planning decisions by Horsham District Council. Roger Cato said: “Without a neighbourhood plan this process is out of control.”

Membership of the action group is open to residents of Mannings Heath. MHAG can be contacted at

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