Horsham should not be bullied by the Government into transforming open spaces into ‘concrete jungles.’
That’s the view of a Horsham councillor who is now urging local residents to voice their views on Horsham District Council’s draft local plan.
The council has already raised concerns with the Government about the ‘huge and unprecedented’ housing demands it has been told to meet.
As part of its local plan review, the district must allow 965 homes to be built every year between now and 2036 – 17,370 in total – as well as taking on hundreds that neighbours such as Crawley do not have the space to build.
Councillor Christine Costin said: “Controversial options are being put forward so everyone needs to see what they are and get their opinion across for or against.
“The Government expect Horsham District to supply a set number of new homes. However, in doing this every effort must be made to ensure that we don’t sacrifice areas that have particular importance to the natural environment and to our communities.”
She added: “No Government should expect councils to transform beautiful open spaces into concrete jungles.”
Meanwhile, Horsham District Council itself is also encouraging people to voice their views on the plan during a public consultation period from from February 17 to March 30.
A spokesman said the plan would “seek to show how the district will deliver new homes while seeking to minimise the effect on the environment and landscape.
“The plan will also support the delivery of community infrastructure, transport links and opportunities for local jobs.”
The council is running a series of drop-in sessions with a summary of proposed options.
Sessions are being held at Billingshurst Centre, Roman Way,on February 17 from 4 – 8pm; Ashington Scout Hall, Church Lane, on February 20 from 4 – 8pm; Henfield Village Hall on February 25 from 4 – 8pm; Swan Walk Shopping Centre, Horsham on February 29 from 10am – 4pm; Ifield West Community Centre, 1A Dobbins Place, Crawley on March 3 from 4 – 8pm; and at Beeson House, 26 Lintot Square, Southwater on March 4 from 4 – 8pm.