We are all aware Councillor Vickers and Horsham District Council face some very difficult decisions – many of which are of their own making, but we see no point in wasting time and energy further allocating blame.
We in Southwater, and indeed the whole community, have no option but to move on and the outline plan proposed by Councillor Vickers is a serious attempt to allow us all to do so.
Her plan however will only succeed in being the basis on which development can be planned with confidence for the next 20 years if she is able to demonstrate convincingly, to everyone, two things.
First she must be able to convince every community that what she proposes is fair to that community.
Sadly, unless there is a major change of heart by central Government, we have no choice but to accept more building than virtually all of us would wish.
We may not agree but the argument that it is for the greater good of the country as a whole will prevail. The ballot box will be our only redress!
Second, and inherent in the concept of fairness, when she says that development will be capped in this or that community for the next 20 years if they accept a certain number of houses now, she must be prepared to tell us how that will be guaranteed.
She must realise that the days are long since past when the word of a Politician, or a Political Party, or indeed a District Council will be accepted as gospel. The level of cynicism within the country as a whole will, with reason, demand far more than that.
Inclusion as policy within a District Plan will never be enough on its own. The list of policies in the recent past amended or overridden subsequently is too long.
Let us hope, for all our sakes, she can indeed succeed.
Dr Ian Thwaites
Keep Southwater Green