30 Sep Norman’s Notes
Draft Site Allocation Development Plan out for consultation
The above document considered by the Council’s Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Community and by Full Council. Following approval, the document will be subject to a six week public consultation from 9 October.
The Mid Sussex District Plan 2014-2031, adopted in March 2018, sets out in broadly what, where, when and how development will take place in Mid Sussex up until 2031. Whilst the majority of development sites are already planned for within the District Plan, the Planning Inspector required the Council to identify additional sites to ensure the housing and employment needs of the District are met.
This document addresses that requirement and recommends 22 housing and 7 employment sites, at locations across Mid Sussex.
Councillor Andrew MacNaughton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning said:
“The preparation of this draft document is one of the final steps we must take to finish our work on the 2014-2031 District Plan.”
He went on to say, “Housing delivery has exceeded our forecasts over the past 18 months, which is excellent news because we can reduce the number of sites we need to allocate for housing in the Site Allocations Development Plan. This work is vitally important to ensure Mid Sussex can continue to demonstrate a rolling five-year housing land supply in order to protect the District from additional speculative developments. The preparation of this Document has taken several years and there will be two rounds of public consultation and an Examination in Public before it can be adopted. This is an important first step.”
You may be disappointed that no employment land sites have been listed in East Grinstead but sadly land owners did not submit any of their land holdings for this use.
Have your say after 9 October by visiting midsussex.gov.uk
Landlords prosecuted for providing squalid living conditions
Perhaps you have seen the media reports about two flats and staff accommodation above the Nizam restaurant in the High Street?
Environmental Health Officers from MSDC inspected the property in February 2018 and discovered a number of serious issues including unsafe electrics, a lack of adequate heating, substandard kitchen facilities, unsafe stairs, faulty fire alarms and the majority of windows were either cracked or broken.
MSDC Officers offered to work with the owners to highlight the repairs needed to bring the accommodation up to standard. When they did not carry out any of the repair work voluntarily, they were issued with an Improvement Notice that legally required them to carry out certain improvement works. The majority of these essential repair works were not carried out and the Council took the decision to prosecute the landlords for their negligence.
In August 2019 the owners were found guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court of failing to comply with the terms of an Improvement Notice (s.30(1) Housing Act 2004). Additionally, Mr Choudhury, one of those taken to court, was found guilty of four offences under the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2016. The Magistrates’ Court fined Mr and Mrs Choudhury a total of £55,568, including the Council’s costs.
Having previously been found guilty of similar housing standards offences relating to a separate House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) at Grove House in Copthorne, Horsham Magistrates’ fined them £87,996 for failing to address a number of serious defects within the property. Those defects led to damp and mould growth, excess cold, electrical hazards and fire safety issues.
As the responsible Cabinet Member I said the following, “The living conditions were not just unpleasant; they actually put the safety of the occupants at risk and that clearly cannot be tolerated because people should be able to live in a safe and decent home. If a rogue landlord refuses to take their responsibilities seriously then we won’t hesitate to take action against them to ensure that they comply with the law.”
Mid Sussex Applauds
These awards will be presented at an East Court event to be held on Sunday 13 October. The awards are presented in recognition of the fantastic work of individuals and organisations across the district, recognising our connections and celebrating our community.