LETTER: Brownfield site for development

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In a recent edition of your paper, you published details of a plan for housing on the Novartis car park – located opposite the main site on the north side of Parsonage Road, Horsham.

There is no mention in Cllrs Dawe, Croft, Vickers and Rae’s ‘flawed’ plan of the huge brownfield site south of Parsonage Road – to be vacated by Novartis this year. These councillors will no doubt say that they could not refer to this site because when they pushed their North Horsham green field site through council on April 30, they did not know for certain that this site was a potential area for development.

Or did they? Looking at the HDC website containing the responses to its consultation about the council’s ‘Local Plan’ for housing and economic development – shortly to be considered by a Government inspector – I found a response from CgMs Consulting on behalf of Novartis.

They write that Novartis does not support Cllr Vickers’ Housing Plan Policy 14 because ‘it will not work i.e. not effective’ and they state: ‘As presented to Horsham District Council Chief Executive, Tom Crowley, Novartis remain committed to identifying an occupier who can continue the science use. Novartis are accordingly undertaking an extensive search for an occupier for uses within this sector. Notwithstanding these efforts and Novartis’ commitment to ensuring a legacy to their Horsham operation, in the event that this search was unsuccessful, Novartis would be obliged to consider alternative uses for the land which may include employment or residential uses.’

So the council did know about Novartis’ intentions!

Novartis’ representation goes on to say: ‘Given the timescales of your Planning Framework process, Novartis must seek to have the site considered for its ability to support future housing needs should science or other employment occupiers not be forthcoming.’

Perhaps Cllr Dawe can tell us in his fortnightly half page piece in your paper, which is normally of little interest to me, why the Novartis site is not included in the HDC’s plan submitted to the Inspector.

Lots of your readers would read what I am sure would be an enlightening piece.

ELIZABETH BARTNOVSKAYA

Heath Way, Horsham