Proposal for Southwater to have 1,200 new homes and secondary school

A proposal for 1,200 homes and a new secondary school has been made for a village near Horsham.

Horsham District Councillor Billy Greening is holding a public meeting next Thursday, October 17, at 7.30pm to discuss the plans from Berkeley Homes for Southwater.

Building - stock photo SUS-190228-105038001

Building - stock photo SUS-190228-105038001

The meeting will be held in Southwater Village Hall, Church Lane to allow residents and those with an interest in the village to have their say.

Mr Greening said: “I had a meeting with Berkeley Homes about the plan for 1,200 extra houses and associated infrastructure, including a school, business park and a bridge over the A24.

“I plan to meet with them again to ask questions in the future.

“It’s only right that those who live, work and have an interest in Southwater are kept as up-to-date with the process as I am.”

A spokeswoman for Berkeley Homes said the firm had been invited to present its ‘early stage proposals’ to Horsham District Council as part of its local plan review.

She added: “[The proposals] include a mix of affordable and private homes, a new secondary school, community facilities, shops, business park and public open spaces including parkland, playgrounds, meadows and nature walks.

“Ancient woodlands and hedgerows would be preserved and a new network of natural habitats would be created to increase biodiversity across the site.”

Mr Greening said he would be present as the organiser of the meeting but would be unable to express a public opinion until the application is heard further down the line.

He added: “As a councillor there is a requirement that when making decisions on planning matters to take account of all arguments in an open-minded way.

“Therefore it’s in my and your interest that I answer any questions on the process that I can without expressing a specific view.

“I do however remain concerned about these proposals and would be very interested to meet as many of you as possible and hear what you have to say to me in person.”

Berkeley’s proposal includes improved cycle and walking routes within the village, including a new pedestrian bridge over the A24, enhanced links to Christ’s Hospital station and more car parking at the station, according to the spokeswoman.

She said: “We are still at the very start of the engagement process, our outline plans are not fixed and should this site move forward there would be a full public engagement programme to give local people the opportunity to shape these proposals with us.”

Councillor Greening urged those attending to let him know in advance to he could estimate numbers.

Read more: Decision made on gypsy pitches in Rudgwick

Read more: ‘Let’s get Horsham back on the map’: readers react to call to save town’s shops

Read more: Driver suffers ‘serious injuries’ in A24 crash