Reading the recent Liberty Property Trust flyer about the North Horsham development raised a number of issues.
Did the public know the land north of Horsham was identified as an option back in 2009? Was this conveniently not widely publicised before the last district council elections?
Liberty says it will deliver ‘a new business park with new local permanent jobs’. Liberty is not in a position to promise any kind of jobs, since it cannot guarantee that the business park will actually be occupied, nor what kind of jobs will materialise.
It also says ‘a world class business park will enable Horsham to become a major regional player and an important component in the Gatwick Diamond economic initiative’.
Both Liberty and HDC appear to have succumbed to wishful thinking. They have ignored the Gatwick Diamond local strategic statement of March 2012, which said - ‘Given the strength of Crawley/Gatwick as a business location and the concentration of demand there, this area is expected to be the main focus for future economic development, at least in the short and medium term.
Redhill/Reigate and, to the edge of the Diamond, Leatherhead, with their locations close to the M25, attract a slightly different business market and are also expected to continue to be important locations for business development.
This does not mean that business development in other locations is precluded. In general, that development is likely to reflect the particular attributes of the smaller settlements and support local communities rather than providing strategic employment growth’.
And the 2010 NW Sussex Employment land review indicated sufficient provision of employment land in Horsham District, although it did consider the idea of a small business park within NW Sussex – but not north of Horsham.
Anyone not familiar with the green fields HDC might destroy, nothing special I admit but at least ‘natural’, should try the Holbrook walk available from North Horsham Parish Council (on existing footpaths and bridleways).
Sloughbrook Close, Horsham