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Frustrated landowner heads for inquiry

A man who is tired of landowners earmarking his rural land for a new small town decided to take his frustration to a planning inquiry

Robert Worsley, from Twineham, turned down £275m to sell because he objected to the plans of Mayfield Market Towns developers for about 10,000 homes.

Despite the scheme not winning approval under planning policy so far Mr Worsley is frustrated the 550 acres land is still shown as an area of the intended development.

So Mr Worsley prepared a surprise speech for Mid Sussex District Plan hearing at Haywards Heath under inspector Jonathan Bore that was due to finish today.

Mayfield Market Towns still wants to build the mini-town near the Wineham and Twineham area,  using legitimate planning procedures to continue its quest, to the annoyance of objectors and Mr  Worsley. It says the development meets a housing need and intends to pursue it through the local plans process.

Mr Worsley’s spokeswoman Jane Watson said: “I think it is pretty much unprecedented for a landowner to ‘wade into’  a Local Plan Examination in this way and to go to such lengths to defend his land and the countryside in general. 

“Usually only official ‘objectors’ are allowed to speak at a district Plan Examination .But Robert was so desperate to have his say that a local campaign group has given him its seat.”

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