LETTER: Idea has fallen apart completely

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Your letters

I object to the destruction of the Strategic Gap between Horsham and Crawley, for an industrial estate of 500,000ft, 2,500 houses, a supermarket, secondary school and more. There were never any valid pro-arguments for this proposal and this idea has completely fallen apart in the recent days. We only need 1,000 more homes for the district.

1) There is no need for an industrial estate in our area, for obvious reasons. Horsham cannot compete with China, India and elsewhere for call centres, manufacturing, and operations required to fill up 500,000(!!!!)ft. Even Novartis has even reduced here. That is not because of needing more space, but due to worldwide economy, lower taxes, lower wages outside UK.

2) The industrial park is even in contradiction to HDC’s own research. Our economy has not taken any radical change of direction since 2009.


(It is clearly stated that Horsham cannot compete for manufacturing/large office operations with Croydon and Crawley. HDC via the taxpayer has covered the expense of Grimley consultants stating the obviously known in 2009. Was this a waste? If so, no wonder there are financial concerns!)

3.2 Horsham has not traditionally been considered as a prime office location within the Greater South East and tends to be overshadowed by the larger centres of Crawley (which benefits from closer proximity to Gatwick Airport and easier access to the South London labour market) and Croydon.

It is an offensive absurdity to put housing into proximity of industrial parks. The days of workers living near factories are long gone. This outrageous 19th Century idea is unacceptable – and is more than 150 years out of date! The one and only single argument for this outrageous hybrid was cited by C. Vickers at HDC on July 25 as: ‘living near an industrial estate will reduce carbon footprint from car travel’. This is nothing other than absurd and angering as an excuse to merge Horsham and Crawley and destroy a greenfield, in particular as there is plenty of brownfield lands in our area. No international company capable of filling up 500,000ft has expressed any interest in moving to the area (why would they? It’s cheaper elsewhere!). Putting housing deliberately into proximity of industrial parks is an outrageous concept, irrational and offensive. Nobody wants to live near an industrial estate! This is as undesirable as it gets!

This is not the biggest site. C. Vickers has stated that ‘there is nowhere else to put it all’, other than on this strategically important greenfield. The overall area here, excluding the small countryside buffer is about 160 hectares, including even floodplain, which cannot be extensively built up.

The final area, (another statistic not supplied by C. Vickers, Ray Dawe and HDC!) might thus be considerably less than 160ha. The brownfield site in Southwater is 175 hectares. The proposal in Southwater which is strictly residential, is deemed too dense, although it would be for 2,750 houses, a secondary school needed for Southwater, a sports hall and other amenities desired by residents.

Here in North Horsham we would have on a smaller site, 2,500 houses, 500,000ft estate plus its vast car parks, schools, supermarkets, perhaps more... Question for Mrs Vickers: Why not put the entire development, then, in Southwater? It is a brownfield site and not the Strategic Gap between Horsham and Crawley.

Surely it would benefit Southwater residents to have an industrial estate in proximity to their homes? Then Southwater residents can look forward to jobs nearby! And Horsham residents can take a bus!

The secondary school would then be in the correct location rather than a nonsense location which skews catchment lines for existing residents (as a result of this build, seven communities – North Horsham, Roffey, Old Holbrook, Rusper, Colgate, Warnham and Faygate would lose their catchment proximity/eligibility for Millais and Forest! ).

There is no need for a new secondary school on the greenfields of North Horsham – a school is needed in Southwater, so that 1,000-plus kids can stop daily return bus trips for Tanbridge. Surely Mrs Vickers would wish to apply the carbon waste reduction to this matter as well? Or does she prefer to transport a growing number of kids (currently about 1,000) to Horsham daily for 20 more years - at taxpayers’ expense?

The site in Southwater is a brownfield site. All Local Authorities are obliged by Central Government to use brownfield sites first, and protect strategically important lands and greenbelt!

Further, critical new information has been finally brought to the public. Councillor Burgess confirms on p 31 of WSCT, September 5, 2013 that only 1,000 homes are still needed for our area, which already has 8,000-plus planning permissions approved and in progress.

So, 2,500 homes is the requirement of the USA developer Liberty’s, this to subsidise the cost of the industrial estate. This has also been confirmed by Councillor Rae in his recent comment on a social media site, challenging readers to find somewhere to put ‘the Economic Area and its price of 2,500 houses’.

Residents: post objections to HDC site. These cannot be ignored by your councillors, and will be read by the Central Government Inspector. It is unacceptable to demolish our greenfields, merge Horsham and Crawley and destroy the area with further overpopulation upon the demand of a developer! HDC must protect our interests– we do not want 2,500 units of housing here instead of 1,000, and a useless industrial park instead of a greenbelt.

Object by 11/10/2013 or they’ll do it:

http://horsham.limehouse.co.uk/portal/planning/ This plan makes no sense economically or environmentally and is a sudden, unacceptably motivated change from earlier, clearly better proposals.

Mrs. I. Rohvarger, B.E.S.,

(Urban Planing and Architecture), B. Arch, 1995

Pondtail Road, Horsham