Your Village in Cyberspace

Welcome to the Copthorne Village Association (CVA) Website, brought to you courtesy of our website sponsor Gary Burfield Wallis of Rogue Interactive

The CVA is a campaigning voice and information conduit for a majority of our village households. We have no statutory or decision making powers but are able to exert a powerful influence on statutory bodies such as the Parish, District and County Councils, the Police Authority and Health Trusts by speaking for a significant majority of Copthorne residents and directing your concerns to the relevant decision-makers in those authorities.

With this Website our primary objective is to improve the flow of information to our members, in addition to our normal Newsletter. 




THE COPTHORNE VILLAGE ASSOCIATION ASKS "DO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WANT THIS"?

A MASSIVE INDUSTRIAL ESTATE BUILT IN COPTHORNE? A GRID-LOCKED COPTHORNE?
500 NEW HOUSES BUILT IN COPTHORNE, AND THE CAPACITY FOR MORE?
A POLLUTED COPTHORNE? TO BECOME A SUBURB OF CRAWLEY?

IF YOU DON'T WANT THIS YOU MUST OBJECT TO ST MODWEN'S PLANNING APPLICATION

In its application St Modwen makes much of "local consultation". At their consultation days in July did you ask for an enormous 15,500 sq m industrial estate, greater than the combined size of the current industrial units at Borers Yard, Pembley Green and Rowfant Business Centre? Go and have a look at them over the Christmas holiday and see what to expect in "Copthorne Village West".

Planning policy says residents' views must be taken into consideration; St Modwen certainly hasn't listened to your views. The company knows that at the Neighbourhood Plan consultation day on 21 April 2013 83% of people attending said the proposed development was "unacceptable" or "very unacceptable". In fact the St Modwen development was the least acceptable of the 12 sites presented (the Neighbourhood Plan regulations say that only sites gaining over 50% approval can be included in the Plan).

Again St Modwen ignored your views at its exhibitions in Copthorne on 12 and 13 July 2013. In a poll of people leaving the exhibitions 96% of attendees who answered said they were against the proposed development.

This is what St Modwen wants: "Outline planning application for up to 500 homes, a primary school and doctors surgery, up to 15,500sqm employment floorspace (B1c light industry/B8 storage and distribution), public open space, allotments, associated landscaping, infrastructure (including sub stations and pumping station) and pedestrian and cycle access, with a principal vehicular access from the A264 and a secondary vehicular access from Shipley Bridge Lane with all matters reserved except for access. Land West Of Copthorne, Copthorne Way, Copthorne, West Sussex"

St Modwen Developments Ltd are very clever people; having submitted their application to Mid Sussex District Council at the optimum time - just before Christmas - they are counting on you being slumped in front of the telly, or off skiing, or partying on New Year's Eve, so that you don't "have time" to write your letter of objection before the closing date of 10th January 2014.

Remember, there is no commitment by St Modwen to actually build/construct any of the promised facilities (school, surgery, allotments, playing fields, etc), which are far larger than required for 500 houses and are too far from Copthorne's residential area to be of any use to our community, bearing in mind the limited access.

EVERY OBJECTION COUNTS - PLEASE CONSIDER THESE POINTS :

The application is in outline form only; to consider the principle of the land use and details of the accesses.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that planning permission for sustainable development must be granted unless the benefits are significantly outweighed by any adverse impact.

The Mid Sussex Local Plan 2004 is the current development plan (the Council is preparing a District Plan to replace this). Two "saved" policies from the 2004 plan are relevant to this application: C1, Protection of the Countryside, and C2, Strategic Gaps (aimed at preventing coalescence - in this instance joining Copthorne with Crawley - and retaining the separate identity and amenity of settlements).

Whilst acknowledging that there is a housing need, the provision of up to 500 dwellings and 15,500 sq m of employment floor space is a proposal of strategic importance and should not be considered in the context of a planning application, but through the emerging Mid Sussex District Council 'District Plan' and the Copthorne 'Neighbourhood Plan' process. The application is therefore premature.

"The Planning System: General Principles", 2005, states that it may be justifiable to refuse permission on grounds of prematurity where the proposed development is so substantial, or where the cumulative effect would be so significant, that granting planning permission would prejudice the emerging planning policies by predetermining decisions about the scale or location of new developments which are being addressed in those policies.

The benefits claimed by the applicants in relation to pedestrian, cycle and public transport access are recognised by St Modwen to be "slight".

We say the "benefit" of providing up to 500 dwellings, and the other benefits claimed by St Modwen, is significantly outweighed by

the hugely adverse impact on the strategic gap, resulting in coalescence with Crawley, and

the adverse impact on the landscape character of the countryside, which has limited capacity to accommodate development.

Creating a new roundabout on the Copthorne Way link road for the additional traffic associated with 500 houses, a school, and the equivalent of 39 factory units plus warehousing would only add to the problems Copthorne residents currently encounter. The Copthorne village roundabout doesn't adequately cope with current traffic, and approach roads to it are frequently gridlocked; additionally, traffic exiting the M23 both north and south is frequently queuing back on the motorway at peak hours.

The proposed development is not properly integrated with the existing village because

the existing Ancient Woodland and stream create a natural boundary. St Modwen intends to remove a large quantity of trees and woodland across central areas of the site, resulting in substantial, significant adverse effects on the landscape and views of the site;

the proposed new school, GP surgery and employment provision are at the furthest points away from the existing village;

there is no vehicular access between the new development and the existing village. Of the two access points to the eastern boundary and at the north western corner off Shipley Bridge Lane, one is for emergency vehicles and bus use only, and the other is a no-through route to vehicles.

The plan shows pedestrian/cycle links to the existing village; however, two of these go through privately owned land and the landowner has not been approached by St Modwen for access.

The site lies directly in the path of the prevailing south west winds and all pollution from the traffic on the M23, especially when it is queuing on both slip roads at junction10, is carried directly over the site. The application cannot therefore meet the National Planning Policy Framework environmental criteria.

Pollutants have been found in the landfill waste on the site, but St Modwen skips over this aspect.

SO IT'S DOWN TO YOU - SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS, RELATIVES AND NEIGHBOURS - MAKE YOUR OBJECTIONS, AND HELP THE COMMUNITY OF COPTHORNE KEEP ITS INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY - PEOPLE POWER CAN WORK WONDERS,
AFTER ALL, WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE TO DO OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS!

It is vital that individual representations are made; if you are a family of four then please send four individual submissions - each and every one counts, but please don't just copy what we have said here – Mid Sussex District Council will accept representations right up to the application hearing date (possibly 6th February).

HOW SEND YOUR REPRESENTATIONS/OBJECTIONS TO MID SUSSEX DISTRICT COUNCIL
View the full application at:http://pa.midsussex.gov.uk/online-applications/ In the "search box" enter the reference 13/04127/OUTES. Click on "Register" to enter your email details, which will allow you make your comment online. Here you can also view the "associated documents" to get a better idea of the impact of the development - which we strongly urge you to do.

Your comments can be posted to Mid Sussex District Council, Planning Division, Oaklands, Oaklands Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1SS, quoting ref 13/04127/OUTES. The application may also be inspected at the Council offices.

Please email copthornevillageassociation@gmail.com to register your email address for future updates
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is provided by the Copthorne Village Association (CVA) for general guidance only. Information provided is subject to change. Always check that it is up to date. The CVA does not guarantee or warrant the information as error or omission free. The CVA is unable to provide any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy, timeliness or completeness or any other aspect of the information supplied. In no event shall the CVA, its agents, officers or volunteers be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever (including but not limited to liability or loss of use, data or profits) arising out of or in connection with any content on, or accessed by, use of this publication, copying display or other use.

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