LETTER: Planning must not be left to chance

Your letters
Your letters

Are housing developers running rings around our local council? In the October 29 County Times Paul Kornycky’s revelation made shocking reading.

It told us that unchecked facts and figures in respect of viability appraisals and affordable housing at the Wickhurst Green development could mean a loss of around £5 million to Horsham District Council (and therefore to local taxpayers). Let’s not forget that this loss is in addition to the £14 million infrastructure black hole already extant for the West of Horsham development.

Add to this the fact that the developers at Wickhurst Green must pay the council compensation in the region of £40,000 for appropriating land which should have been made available to the council for redevelopment of the sport and recreation facilities at Broadbridge Heath under a Section 106 agreement, as reported in the minutes of Broadbridge Heath Parish Council’s Local Development Committee of July 20.

What happened there?

We also read in the October 29 County Times that the opening of the new road scheme and bridge over the A24 to support the West of Horsham development has been delayed. Anyone who uses the A24 and A264 in the vicinity of Broadbridge Heath will sigh with disbelief that the terrible congestion drivers have been experiencing lately must continue.

I realise the works on the lighting etc which are being carried out by the county council have added to the nightmare of driving in this area, but didn’t anyone think to postpone these works until after the new road system was up and running? Don’t the county and district councils do joined-up thinking?

Perhaps Horsham District Council wants to give us a foretaste of the mayhem that’s going to exist on our local roads in the not-too-distant future if the North Horsham development proposals get the go-ahead.

With all this development happening locally and the spectre of the huge development at North Horsham looming over us, local councils (both district and county) must get a grip on things. Planning for the infrastructure to support these developments must not be left to chance and the ‘goodwill’ of developers. Watertight agreements should be in place to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is provided, with punitive fines for developers who fail in this respect.

Surely it cannot be beyond the wit of local authorities and their planning departments to ensure local taxpayers are not left with total chaos as a result of all this extra development in the area. Local taxpayers who fund the generous salaries and pension schemes of council employees expect and deserve better.

SHEILA WHITE

Dorking Road, Warnham

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