Whilst it is the right for anyone to object to the North Horsham development plans, many of those objecting seem a little unclear of certain facts. In the County Times, three of your correspondents stated ‘Why is the development not happening on the large brownfield site in Southwater?’.
Firstly, the Southwater site is not a brownfield site. It is currently green fields, occupied by a working farm, and the tenant farmer and his family have no desire to be forced out of their home which has been the family home for several generations.
Secondly, the Preferred Option Document does have development plans for Southwater (of approximately 500 houses) this is of course on top of the several hundred houses still currently under construction in the village.
I would imagine that the planning department of HDC is of the opinion that whilst an additional 500 houses in Southwater is possibly sustainable, dumping 2,750 houses (thus doubling the village in both size and population) onto a village with no railway station and an already struggling road infrastructure would be utter madness, and completely unsustainable.
The plans for 500 houses also allow the farm to continue to operate, and for the farmer and his family to keep their home.
In addition, over 4,000 Southwater residents signed a petition against further large scale development in the village, so those who seem to think that Southwater will once again be the easy option should think again.
At least the North Horsham development is mixed use, being houses, retail and commercial, including a much needed third large supermarket, so there will actually be places of work as well as houses, unlike Southwater where it would be simply houses, creating a dormitory town with no further employment possibilities.
Finally, is it not hugely ironic that so many of the letters of objection regarding North Horsham are from addresses which until a few years ago did not exist, as where their houses now are were open spaces and green fields?
Cripplegate Lane, Southwater