LETTER: Unelected PI rides roughshod

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A number of district councillors imply that Horsham District Council has little option but to plan for 600 houses per annum over 20 years, to satisfy the Planning Inspectorate’s unrealistic expectations, including around 2,500 houses North of Horsham in the Local Plan.

Indeed, I understand that over 1,000 houses per annum would need to be built in Horsham District, over the next five years to eliminate the current backlog and to sustain the projected 20 year average, to satisfy the Inspectorate.

That compares with an average building rate of 430 houses pa over the past ten years which is clearly pie in the sky.

Of course people can’t buy (and developers won’t build) because disposable incomes fell during the recession, which is why there are now around 8,000 unbuilt houses in Horsham District, with planning permission.

As elected representatives of the people, surely all councillors should confront the Inspectorate’s unrealistic expectations.

HDC could do that by including two targets in the Local Plan, one based on the outdated SE Plan methodology, with a second projection duly adjusted for economic growth and disposable incomes.

Councillors have been elected to fight for the people and to minimise the adverse impact of inappropriate development on our beautiful green fields and we need to see more evidence that they are doing that.

They must surely give strong leadership by confronting the issue at every turn by not passively allowing the unelected PI to ride roughshod over them.

If they value our hard won democracy, then they must not wash their hands of the problem by simply blaming the Lib/Con Government.

They must surely fight back with tenacity and not just roll over.

NEIL WHITEAR

Vice-chairman, UKIP Horsham, Crawley Road, Horsham