LETTER: Council must plan to protect lives

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Your article concerning emergency healthcare response times in the communities around Horsham demands the attention of public, planning authority and planning inspectorate alike.

It highlighted the fact that the South East Ambulance service falls well short of agreed national standards for the provision of emergency healthcare in Southwater, and indeed in many of the communities to the south and west of Horsham.

This is not a new problem; the situation has been the same for at least the last four years to my certain knowledge from direct personal contact with the service provider.

There is no practical way to remedy it unless either a new A&E unit opens in the vicinity - which it will not - or the roads to the area become less busy and more easily navigated - which they will not.

The vast majority of the working population from this southern part of the District travel north to their employment.

The steadily increasing load on the roads by dormitory developments around Horsham can only worsen the existing congestion and restrict the ease of movement of ambulances already a long way from their acute hospitals.

It behoves us all, and particularly our planning authority, to acknowledge this irredeemable lack of essential infrastructure and carefully limit any further development in the area where the service is so poor. Failure to do so will cost lives.

Dr IAN THWAITES

For Keep Southwater Green, Marlhurst, Southwater