LETTER: Catchment areas being destroyed

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I wish to respond to all the wrong, meaningless and unsubstantiated comments in recent articles by councillors Vickers and Dawe, and Crickmay, but I know that whilst councillors and developers have regular space in the paper, a resident is limited to the occasional 300 words. Hence a few comments only. Mrs Vickers has conveniently forgotten, in seeking ways to explain her objectionable plan which is desired only by US developer Liberty, that central government agenda encouraging local authorities to provide economic growth (obviously as appropriate to their region!) was available more than a year before the date that she suggests.

In July 2013, cllrs Vickers, Dawe, Rae, Breacher, Croft, Cornell, Lindsay, Rowbottom voted to put out for consultation a sudden change of strategy from Southwater, which is deliverable for 2,750 homes, the new school needed in the area (as Southwater children are being bussed into Horsham and will be for at least the next 20 years, carbon waste and taxpayers expense!), a sports hall and parklands to NHSD: highly problematic site, previously protected as the strategic gap between Horsham and Crawley and remaining greenbelt of Horsham.

The central government agenda, written for LAs to interpret for their region(in our area, we should be attracting leisure and tourism, promoting local farming and landscape and thinking outside the box) was actually known in March 2012.

Mrs Vickers’ argument for changing a site which meets all criteria to a site which meets none, adding a business park, crematorium, train station (which won’t happen as the developer won’t spend), all the while preventing Southwater from getting a needed school and destroying catchment areas for North Horsham, Roffey, Rusper, Warnham, Colgate, Faygate, Old Holbrook holds no water.

Mrs Vickers is affiliated with HDC, not WSCC. Catchment areas are established by geographical distance nationwide.

Parents may be invited to put schools of choice on application forms, but the default school is your nearest - that is where your children will go.

Good schools like Millais and Forest are impossible to get into, if you are not in catchment.

Mrs Vickers is misleading local parents in her article with this and her other comments about ‘no planned changes’.

Parents should read Mrs Vickers statements with great care.

MARK ANDREW

Kestrel Close, Horsham