Eric Pickles MP, Secretary for Communities and Local Government, has recently blocked plans for a major employment development including offices, industry and warehousing on Green Belt land around Coventry airport after he concluded that the scheme’s adverse impact on the Green Belt was not outweighed by factors in its favour.
It is currently proposed to build a similar project – involving a Grade A business park of 500,000 sq ft – on a greenfield site in North Horsham under the Horsham District Planning Framework.
Although the Planning Inspector’s Initial Findings provide lukewarm support for this scheme, they are very far from endorsing it as a sound, viable proposition (as noted in the letter from Mr R. Baker in your issue of Feb 12) – which is not surprising since the Inspector is well aware of the numerous consultants’ reports commissioned by HDC indicating it would not be commercially viable.
Given these negative prospects what precisely would be the benefits of building this development in the Strategic Gap between Horsham and Crawley – or our own local Green Belt – that might outweigh the damage from wrecking that gap between Horsham and Crawley?
Since it is now obvious that the employment bonanza and boost to business rate income promised as a result by leader Cllr Ray Dawe and Cllr Vickers is a pipedream, they should follow their own Tory Secretary of State’s example and think again.
In any case residents can vote for candidates in May who undertake to insist that the North Horsham site be deleted from the plan, since it won’t be voted on and made final until the end of 2015.
Allingham Gardens, Horsham