LETTER: Implications of ‘at least’ 16,000?

Your letters
Your letters

In response to the ‘Note’ from the Planning Inspector to HDC lifting HDC’s housing target to 800pa (16,000 houses until 2031) Cllr Claire Vickers’ Director of Planning (Dr Chris Lyons) sent a tame reply which can be read on the HDC website (horsham.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/23983/HDC46-Note-from-HDC-in-response-to-ID-30.pdf)

At the bottom of the letter Dr Lyons sets out a table showing how HDC meekly complies with the Inspector’s wishes and under MM12 P54 Policy 15: ‘Provision is made for the development of at least 16,000 homes and associated infrastructure in the District within the period 2011-2031 at an average of 800 homes per year’.

The public carefully following the twists and turns of this saga will note that Dr Lyons, an officer of the Council (under Cllr Vickers and her Leader Cllr Dawe), uses the phrase ‘at least 16,000 homes’.

This is not even ‘around 16,000’ where a former HDC definition is plus or minus ten per cent.

So Dr Lyons no doubt under direction from you know who has acceded to the Planning Inspector that there is no effective limit on what may be built.

Perhaps you could give space in your paper to ask Dr Lyons or better still Cllrs Dawe and Vickers to explain what are the implications of ‘at least’?

Precisely what effect will this new ‘laissez-faire’ approach have on (a) infrastructure and (b) the five-year land supply.

Cllr Vickers, through her planning officers, might also explain whether neighbourhood plans stop unwanted development - they have to be pro-development, but if an Neighbourhood Plan says 60 homes on two sites, does that stop a developer proposing development on a third if the HDPF says ‘at least 16,000 homes’ and that target has not been reached?

Dr GEOFFREY RICHARDSON

Tennyson Close, Horsham

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