LETTER: Stand up and be counted this time

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A few weeks ago Horsham district councillors proposed to find out (through HDC’s Scrutiny and Overview work programme) why HDC is behind on its five year land supply target of 650 houses per annum. It should of course already have been clear from historic data that HDC had little hope of averaging anything approaching that.

Unfortunately, at that fateful council meeting on April 30th this year, councillors voted through an HDPF based on that 650pa housing target for 20 years leaving Planning Inspectors to invoke presumption in favour and to permit more indiscriminate development on green field sites.

Fortunately those councillors have been offered one last opportunity to rectify their error based on a recent letter from the new Planning Minister Brandon Lewis. He says that targets can be adjusted to take account of a market downturn, along with the delivery rates before and after the downturn.

The question is, will they take this opportunity to amend the Plan and make their case to the Planning Inspector, or will they continue to regurgitate the mantra that this is the easiest way to get the Plan adopted?

If they take the latter option then they will have failed to represent their constituents properly. They will have reneged on Localism and left the District exposed to more indiscriminate development. Let’s hope that they will stand up and be counted this time.

NEIL JONES

Tennyson Close, Horsham