IT’S JUST PLAN CRAZY: Fears over uncontrolled housing bonanza

JPCT 031211 Save Our Sussex Alliance gathering outside Tory party HQ, Gough House, Madeira Ave, Horsham. photo derek martin

JPCT 031211 Save Our Sussex Alliance gathering outside Tory party HQ, Gough House, Madeira Ave, Horsham. photo derek martin

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A bonanza of uncontrolled and unwanted housing development could become an inevitability in the Horsham district if communities do not act now - campaigners have warned.

In response to fears that government plans for a housing boom could create a planning free-for-all across the country the County Times has re-launched our ‘It’s Just Plan Crazy’ campaign to give local people their voice back on housing issues.

It was first launched in summer 2011 in response to the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework, (NPPF) and received the backing of many local campaign groups as well as national bodies including the National Trust.

Like many authorities Horsham District Council is struggling to replace the abolished regional housing strategies with a Local Development Framework, leaving it open to attack by large planning applications and appeals.

This week Ian Thwaites, leader of Keep Southwater Green, which is aimed at fighting a possible 2,750 homes west of the village, blamed central government for giving unclear and variable instruction to authorities, and said the much-trumpeted localism had yet to

materialise.

Dr Thwaites said: “It is essential that the whole of the Horsham district area, not just Southwater, is aware of the truly terrible situation in which we find ourselves with regard to the likely imposition of vast numbers of houses upon greenfields all around us.

“The consequence of this absence of a plan, which is not unique to Horsham since less than 50 per cent of authorities countrywide have been able to get a plan in place, is that our district council may be unable to refuse planning permission for virtually any development in the area.”

He added: “A bonanza of uncontrolled and unwanted development would be almost inevitable.”

For the full story see today’s West Sussex County Times.