LETTER: Tough messages ahead for council

Your letters
Your letters

In your piece: ‘MP’s pledge to abolish planning inspectorate’ (WSCT 26.6.14) where was our MP Francis Maude? Not there – again!

The report quotes the recently parachuted in chairman of Horsham District Council Cllr O’Connell (former deputy cabinet member for planning). Frankly I read what you quoted and did not understand what he was trying to say. Not a good start.

If it had been Cllr Mitchell, as it should have been until Cllr Dawe wrote that now infamous email in September 2013, we would have understood every word. But your interpretation of what he said was ‘…they [HDC] are unable to make a proper assessment of Mayfield’s proposal [for a new Sussex town] due to a ‘lack of information’.

However, it is apparent that HDC has shown no interest whatsoever in Mayfield’s proposal for a new town because they came to a secret agreement with Crawley Borough Council (CBC) and Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) not to do anything that any of them did not want to do. MSDC don’t want a new town – so Horsham and Crawley remained neutral. As the proposed new town would cross the Horsham/Mid Sussex boundary, it would be seen by the Inspectorate as evidence of their willingness to meet their legal ‘duty to co-operate’ with planning schemes across administrative boundaries.

Ah, could that be the reason why these MPs don’t want the Inspectorate; they don’t want to be told that housing need is across whole geographical regions and they cannot just take the NIMBY view i.e we don’t want large housing schemes in our wards/constituencies.

Maybe we should put our faith in these unelected inspectors who might well have a few tough messages for Cllr O’Connell and the others (Cllrs Dawe, Vickers, Croft, Cornell and Rae) when the Inspector considers HDC’s plans in the autumn.

Gwen Taylor

Havengate, Horsham