East Grinstead Society

Draft Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD) – September 2019

This is the Society submission to MSDC. The DPD is of fundamental importance to the Town’s future and we will want to continue to have a big say! The next consultation is expected in the summer.

Response by The East Grinstead Society

Our reply relates to both the general situation in East Grinstead  and the three specific  sites in the DPD


East Grinstead does not have the road infrastructure to support the suggested developments. The road network has been subject to much criticism  as the junctions on the A22 and the A264 prove inadequate to satisfy current demands.

The  position will only get worse when current approved planning applications are built. Hill Place Farm and  three sites along the Copthorne and Crawley Down Roads (18/3022, 16/5502 and 17/2570 ) total  321 houses .

If the sites suggested in the DPD were to be approved for building then the traffic from an additional 772 houses would be competing for road space together with that from those sites detailed in the District and Neighbourhood plans. These latter items, of course, would include the 200 released from Windmill Lane as the lower Imberhorne School is consolidated with the senior school on Imberhorne Lane . This prospect is unsustainable. There must be a decision on the work necessary on the junctions, the timetable for the works to be done,  who will pay for it ( the developers?) before any building works are approved on these schemes. It is not just a consultation entitled “Broad locations to be subject to detailed investigation for highway safeguarding” but an action plan which makes scheme approval dependant on the road works being carried out.

Infrastructure is not just about roads. There are doctors, dentists, schools, libraries and other services to be considered. If the inhabitants of the town are to be properly provided for we must consider developments on our District  boundary which may wish to use East Grinstead facilities as they are closer than those in their own area.

Has there been any liaison with neighbouring local authorities about these matters? Just to take one example we seem to recall that Surrey County Council was unamused by the prospect of heavier traffic on the A22 northwards when the routes of the East Grinstead Bypass was under consideration.

It has also come to our notice that an Appeal is in progress in respect of the refusal of an application to build 101 houses at Frith Manor Farm, Lingfield Road (APP/M3645/W/19/3237774) in neighbouring Tandridge District which would inevitably add further traffic to our overstretched  road network, the junctions thereon and the town’s services if the Appeal was granted.

Suggested Sites

SA18  Police Station, East Court.

This site is for 22 houses. It is within the East Court estate. The only access to this site is the private driveway running from Escotts Drive via the East Court Mansion and Meridian Hall to the Holtye Road.The junctions with the public highway at each end are difficult . The road  is narrow and passes close to a well-used children’s playground and the listed Mansion. In its current state through traffic is prohibited.

SA19  Backland along Crawley Down Road

This is for 200 houses. Felbridge has few facilities other than a well populated  primary school  ( which is in Tandridge ) and an indifferent bus service. The proposed site would generate a disproportionate increase in motor traffic throughout the day from early commuters, schools  morning and afternoon and movements to use the facilities for shopping etc of East Grinstead. The junction of Crawley Down  Road with Copthorne Road is at an acute angle, not susceptible to redesign and not far from the major A22/A264  junction at Felbridge.  This traffic together with that from the sites mentioned earlier could bring the area to a complete halt. The site itself appears to be built partly on the floodland beside the Felwater stream. The site would have to be carefully planned to avoid the run-off of water fron hard surfaces throuhout the site exacerbating flooding.

SA20  Imberhorne Farm

550 houses are suggested for the site which has major implications for the transport network. The scheme offers space for the relocation of Lower  Imberhorne School but whether or not sufficient space is allowed for the expanded Imberhorne School and what the anticipated school roll will be if all these developmnts are built is uncertain. Access for school traffic will probably be via Imberhorne Lane with the prospect of blockages at the junction with the A22, throughout the Imberhorne and Garden Wood estates, at the single flow railway bridge in Imberhorne Lane and at the junction with the Turners Hill Road at Hazleden Crossroads.

Entrance to the site itself would also be via Imberhorne Lane, nothing more needs to be said about congestion

Imberhorne Farm is a very well used recreational area for local people. There are Rights of Way, Permissive paths, glorious views and wildlife.  There is the Worth Way which is a European designated route. The loss of these or even their damage would not be compensated for by the proposed SANGS, it would be more likely displace walkers, cyclists, horseriders etc back to Ashdown Forest rather than protect it.


Where is there any reference to the Policies agreed before the making of the Neighbourhood and District Plans. Are they just to be ignored and what surveys have been undertaken to consider the impact on air quality if  some or all of these developments are undertaken.