Broadbridge Heath Parish Council said they ‘do not wish’ for more housing in the village as a masterplan for the quadrant went out for consultation.
Horsham District Council approved the Broadbridge Heath Quadrant Masterplan for public consultation at a Full Council meeting last Wednesday.
Updated proposals for the quadrant, which include a replacement leisure centre, new retail units, a medical facility,hotel, and up to 200 apartments were exclusively revealed by the County Times back in February.
The site currently consists of the Tesco store, existing leisure centre and running track, the indoor bowls facility, West Sussex County Council’s highways depot, and existing retail park.
Malcolm Curnock (LDem, Broadbridge Heath) expressed his concern about the lack of detail in the document.
He said: “We are asking the public to make comments on what are rather general statements about what will be there and how it will be used.”
He added: “I fail to see how the Broadbridge Heath Quadrant development will contribute to the sense of community between the new and existing community in Broadbridge Heath.
“I think that there should be something that will provide some compensation to the parish of Broadbridge Heath for continually stepping up to the plate and providing district facilities.”
But Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead), HDC’s cabinet member for arts, heritage, and leisure, said: “We get told off if we send out the document where we have made all the decisions.
“What we originally planned lacked incredible vision for what we could do in the quadrant. It was just a blank in Broadbridge Heath.”
He added: “Malcolm I can’t understand your view having a district facility on your door step is to the detriment of your residents. I thought they would welcome it.”
Mr Curnock focused particularly on the planned 200 apartments. He said: “The parish council do not wish to have any further residential housing. It has taken 1,000 houses.”
But Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater), cabinet member for living and working communities, said: “This is a really good opportunity for us, we own this land, to get a really good mixture of housing and leisure and retail, all this is together and we will make it work.
“There’s an opportunity for us here. It’s our land.”
The four-week public consultation will be held from Friday May 9 to June 6.
Sheila White, speaking on behalf of Paul Kornycky, deputy chairman of the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre Joint User Group, pointed out that if the land designated for housing was worth £20m ‘skimping’ on new facilities was unnecessary, and asked if plans were credible given the West of Horsham Masterplan stated that expanded leisure facilities were needed in light of large-scale development.
When ‘Option 7A’ for the new leisure centre was agreed by the council in June 2012 Mr Chowen agreed to keep the old leisure centre open until the new one was finished, ensuring continuity of provision.
This was after the council originally announced it was demolishing the centre and not replacing it.
However when pressed by Mrs White on his promise last Wednesday, he said the council would endeavour to make the process ‘as seamless as possible’, but it would be ‘foolhardy’ to say anything could be set in stone given the scale of the project.