The party’s over; the room is empty; the flags have been taken down; the beautiful people have left. Liberty’s chairman is keeping his job; the County Times letters pages are almost empty; the Deep South has won; the decision is made. North Horsham will take all the housing.
An interesting debate, the highlight was the developer-led party political broadcast by a new southern councillor, Diana Van der Klugt.
Followed by North Horsham’s councillors Rae and Croft trying to convince us all that they had North Horsham’s interest at heart and telling us how much they had done for us all. Is there an election in 12 months time?
So it’s all over. The single solution offered is approved; or is it?
Do we actually believe that an inspector is going to accept a seriously flawed plan; which ignores all the available brown field sites; completely overlooks the severe road/rail/access/water/sewage/education problems; is built on three pillars, a hospital, a station, and a business park, none of which is actually going to happen; fails to note the existing and future planning of the huge waste disposal sites off Langhurstwood Road; overlooks any expansion at Gatwick and denies the gridlock that Horsham town centre will face when all the 4,500-plus houses are built?
Do we seriously consider that other developers will be saying ‘Oh dear, we have lost; we will have to ditch all the plans we have for Southwater, Billingshurst, Adversane, a new town etc, etc, and forego the money we have spent and could have made’. Not on your life! I bet the applications are already being dusted off and forwarded as I write this.
I do despair, that we can allow a single option plan, dictated by a single developer, to be approved. One which will seriously harm the whole district; when with intelligent planning over the whole area, and I include Horsham, we could actually have enhanced local hamlets, villages and towns, by using the developers to give us what we need and want.
Let’s hope it is not too late to change.
(Con) Horsham district councillor for Holbrook West, North Street, Horsham