LETTER: Policy not based on wishes of locals

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I notice that Horsham DC and Mid Sussex DC have recently made a combined response to a consultation paper issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/planning-and-productivity-/publications/)

In answer to one question concerning Local Plans the following reply was given:

‘The area where there is the greatest mismatch between the housing need and planned provision is the South East. In Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex, of the 25 local planning authorities only two are currently planning to meet their needs: Horsham and Mid Sussex. Horsham District is also planning to assist in meeting the needs of the wider area. Of an estimated objectively assessed need of 16,000 homes per year for the three counties, current proposed provision figures amount to 8,427 per year, or just over 50 per cent of the need.’

This raises a couple of questions:

1) Why, out of the 25 councils in South-East England, did only Horsham DC and Mid Sussex agree to the level of new housing being imposed on it?

2) Why did Horsham DC agree not only to meet the level of new housing demanded of it but ‘assist in meeting the needs of the wider area’? It would be interesting to know which of the political parties advocated such a policy.

This policy seems to me to be completely contrary to the wishes of local people. If this policy is not challenged then what will prevent Horsham from becoming the default option for mass housing for the other 23 councils in the area who have complied with their communities’ desire to prevent excessive levels of new housing in their areas?

ROGER TETLOW

Sandhills Road, Barns Green

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