LETTER: Prejudicial to proper planning

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Mike Dancy’s letter last week set out succinctly how the proposed ‘Express Store’ would generate a very significant increase in traffic flow, leading to queues in St Leonard’s Road at its junction with Brighton Road, Horsham. Road safety would also be compromised.

But the problems that would be caused are not just those in St Leonard’s Road. Motorists in St Leonard’s Road approaching Brighton Road, would no doubt look for ways of avoiding queues, as the shoppers negotiate the confines of the proposed Tesco car park either to enter or to leave it.

Access from and to Brighton Road from Sandeman Way, Hernbrook Drive or from Hammerpond Road are alternative routes, which carry with them disruption to residents and risks at each of the junctions from very restricted visibility.

St Leonard’s Road remains an important route to north Horsham, despite being a narrow single carriage road at its junction with Brighton Road.

Other routes along Brighton Road such as Clarence Road or New Street have evident limitations to large vehicles, making the town centre route the only other viable one ( subject to the height of the railway bridge).

The Horsham Town Design Statement, completed just three years ago, selected the section of St Leonard’s Road from the Brighton Road to Dickins Way as an area of special character with a particularly interesting mixed group of houses with a public house and a shop. It also drew attention to very difficult traffic problems.

It is inconceivable that the new planning regulations would have been designed to ignore the relevant traffic generation of ‘express stores’, especially in areas of existing congestion.

The district council should employ all means to resist the application by Tesco to set up such a store on this site trusting that the county council’s highways policy remains that it is aware that although it needs to support business, from the highways viewpoint it needs to see that robust arrangements are in place to allow easy traffic flow.

Perhaps Horsham District Council could explain why it is not prepared to issue an Article 4 Direction under the Town and Country Planning Act as the proposed development is clearly prejudicial to the proper planning of the area.

West Sussex County Council also has a role to play. Nobody wants a traffic problem to arisehere, similar to that which was created by the flawed planning decision allowing another Tesco store to be built on Redkiln Way near to a busy roundabout.

Let’s hear from them as well

ROY BAYLISS

on behalf of The Horsham Society, Patchings, Horsham