Concerning recent letters in the County Times and the overall position of Keep Southwater Green, we see no point, and it can hardly be of interest to the readers of the County Times, in having a prolonged detailed correspondence with people who are so passionately committed to trying to avoid development in their area that they appear to have lost some of their sense of reason and objectivity.
Suffice it to say that we stand by the facts which have been made repeatedly in my several letters to the County Times, RAGE, and North Horsham Parish Council concerning the recent history of plans to develop in Southwater, and with regard to the secondary school. They are correct.
By the bye; a Grade 2 starred listed building has a hugely greater degree of protection by law than any Grade 2 listed building – of which we also have several in Southwater in and around the areas discussed for development and which, sadly, count for very little.
We understand the anger and the passion; when we in Southwater were fighting the last planning permission application in our already overdeveloped village, we too were angry and passionate. I like to think however that we never stooped to simply saying put the houses in Billingshurst or put them in North Horsham.
At a calm, and we thought productive, council meeting on Thursday last we all heard a strong case in favour of the Preferred Strategy Plan as proposed. We at Keep Southwater Green have believed for some time that, much as we deplore the Government’s policy of imposing unwanted houses upon many communities and the cynical, bordering on dishonest, method by which they have chosen to enforce it, it is in the interest of the whole of Horsham District to adopt a binding District plan with all speed.
For that reason, and that alone, much as we would all prefer it not to occur, we have made no major objection to the current proposals for about 500 houses in Southwater.
We hope that this will be recognised for what it is – a realistic, pragmatic attempt to work in everyone’s interest. We hope both developer, council and other groups will not seek to take advantage of our position.
Dr IAN THWAITES
Keep Southwater Green, Marlhurst, Southwater