North Horsham and Southwater’s landscape has ‘capacity to accommodate development’

Countryside near Southwater that may be developed
Countryside near Southwater that may be developed

The landscape of both North Horsham and Southwater have the ‘capacity to accommodate development’ according to a council document.

Horsham District Council’s sustainability appraisal was published yesterday (Friday August 16) laying out the criteria it applied to choose the strategic sites in its draft housing plan, which was also put out for public consultation.

According to the document sites at Chesworth Farm, Adversane, Faygate, an extension to the Kilnwood Vale/West of Bewbush development, and West of Ifield, were turned down due to their unsustainability.

The draft plan has identified 2,500 homes and a new business park north of the A264, and around 500 homes in Southwater and Billingshurst.

The sustainability appraisal reads: “Both North Horsham and Southwater have been identified as having areas where the landscape has capacity to accommodate development, but there may be some adverse impacts depending on the overall extent and scale of the development (i.e. development of 500 at Southwater and 2,500 at North Horsham would be less damaging than 2000 or 4,000 homes respectively).”

In Billingshurst the document says there are opportunities to enhance existing retail facilities,

A new market town between Sayers Common and Henfield, being floated by Mayfield Market Towns, seems not to have been tested against the council’s criteria.

The document continues: “Of the remaining sites, it is considered that North Horsham and Southwater have the fewest environmental constraints to the development of the site and also perform best on economic and social issues.

“While potential issues have been identified at Billingshurst, there is some scope to mitigate or ameliorate effects, particularly if development is limited to nearer 500 homes.

“Furthermore, development at Billingshurst has been identified as having fewer impacts than at Ifield, particularly as the access arrangements without a new access road to Ifield would generate very significant transport issues within Crawley.”