Foxhole Farm

Foxhole Farm is the only site included in the draft Plan Reg 19. Many of the general categories discussed on these pages will be relevant to the proposed Foxhole Farm development. In addition, there are some specific concerns to Foxhole Farm on this page, the first three being the key points:

The A272 at Bolney is already overburdened with traffic at all junctions during peak times which is dangerous for turning traffic. Crosspost, the small settlement on the southern side of the Foxhole Farm field, has within a short distance an uncontrolled crossroad, garage entrance, workshop entrance and private driveways joining the A272 in close proximity to each other. Fast-approaching traffic and unpredictable vehicle movements cause regular hazards here at high risk and the road has red tarmac to focus attention on this. Access to Foxhole Farm when finalised in detail will likely require significantly more expenditure by the developer than expected. This will likely eat into any contributions earmarked by the developer for community facilities or be paid for by squeezing a few more houses in.

The excessive scale of the proposed housing estate development (doubling of village size) on a greenfield site and its adjacent but disconnected location to Bolney is socially unsustainable and destructive of the character and rural environment of Bolney. It is very easy to imagine a 'them and us' situation.

Each house is likely to require two cars because in a rural environment served poorly by public transport options, journeys will be predominantly by car, and this is counter to National and Mid Sussex District Council Planning Policies. Estimates of the number of daily journeys in and out of Foxhole Farm do not reflect the reality of rural life and appear to be conservative numbers.

Imagine stepping from Foxhole Farm onto The Street – a narrow road with parked cars hugging the curb, obscuring drivers' views. Cyclists weave through traffic while pedestrians hope for safe passage with no raised footpath as protection. This is the reality for Foxhole Farm estate, granting direct access to a street ill-equipped for a surge in pedestrian and cycling traffic.

Increased risk of flooding is a real concern for villagers living along The Street and at Crosspost. The village is not classified as high risk, but incidents of flooding have occurred and more buildings will create additional run-off on low-lying areas on the edge of the development, potentially affecting houses, footpaths and roads.

It is not enough to avoid building on low-lying areas at risk of flooding. Additional runoff from built-on land where previously there was vegetation and some degree of natural drainange or water retention will add to the volume of water which must be responsibly controlled and there is high chance that this has not been adequately assessed for Foxhole Farm.

The nearby vineyards and orchards show the land has good commercial agricultural potential that would be permanently lost.

We don’t think that the enhancements promised by the developer’s proposals are useful or necessary.

The Foxhole Farm stated possibilities of keeping a central area 'green' as a country park could very easily be reduced or vanish entirely.

It is dangerous to concede partial development of a field or a reduced number of houses on any site. Developers will eventually push for more housing on the remainder and there may be no robust defence to stop them. They have the resources and funds to challenge anything in their way.

It is a worry that Foxhole Farm will never be a truly integrated part of the village because of physical separation and will remain a 'parallel' village.

Screening would be needed to mitigate the visual impact of estate housing and to protect historic views enjoyed by so many, and this in itself would be a physical and psychological barrier to integration.

Foxhole Farm development is not wanted and is undemocratic because it was rejected from inclusion in the Neighbourhood Plan and subsequently rejected during earlier stages of the Mid Sussex District Council's District Plan consultation by close to 270 Bolney residents, which is approximately one rejection for each house in the village of Bolney.

Preliminary access plans to the A272 at Crosspost for the Foxhole Farm site are "agreed in principle with WSCC" however, are unlikely to have gone into sufficient detail to give a realistic assessment of existing and increased traffic volume and risk of accidents. Preliminary plans, created without proper monitoring in rush hour and outside school holidays, and subsequently "agreed in principle with WSCC", might unfortunately be enough to get Foxhole Farm development approved BUT investment in safe roads could cost much more than expected: this unbudgeted expenditure could eat into contributions earmarked for community enhancements and may even need a few more houses squeezed in to cover the costs.

Developers have not taken a broad view of the effect of ~400 additional car movements in and out of Foxhole Farm onto the A272, and deliveries of goods and groceries which are part of everyday life now. A robust study would need to assess the effect on ALL junctions along the Bolney stretch of the A272 in combination with additional passing traffic generated by Rampion 2 and the effects of the planned traffic lights near Bolney Nursery and other very large housing and commercial developments nearby in Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and Horsham District.

There is a very real risk of the projected traffic volumes being significantly understated in the studies/documentation relating to the draft Plan.

Wates (the agent) has published their Vision for Foxhole Farm and Bolney.