LETTER: Undermined by rapid growth

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Who are the residents ‘excited’ by the news that Brighton University plans to establish a campus on the former Novartis site (WSCT 29th Jan)? None of the people whose views are quoted represent Horsham town residents’ views.

Some 3,500 students with 2,000 resident on site plus 2,250 staff would create a huge increase in the movement of people and traffic plus additional congestion on roads that are unsuitable for such an increase (Wimblehurst and Parsonage and the roads into which they feed).

It is also likely that on-street parking chaos would be created close to the site, similar to that around Collyer’s.

Local residents would suffer the usual inconvenience whilst work on site was taking place. With several thousand students, the character of Horsham town would certainly change.

In terms of people movement, this is probably the equivalent to building over a thousand houses on the site, but with a mainly student population it would bring much less economic benefit to the town.

Additional demand for houses for staff and rented accommodation for non-resident students could push rents up even further for the many young people in the town who cannot benefit from Horsham’s house building boom.

A new university campus, with high quality teaching and research that is predominantly science based, would bring long term benefits - but could Brighton University deliver this ?

The Novartis site is not a suitable location for a Brighton University campus. If this plan is implemented, it would be another nail in the coffin of a town whose attractiveness is being undermined by rapid growth and failure to catch up with increased demands on services and infrastructure – and for whose benefit?

Not I believe for most of the residents of Horsham town. But then, on development issues, our ruling HDC cabinet doesn’t seem to care much about the views of Horsham town residents.

JOHN BAKER

Blunts Way, Horsham