While it was great to see the former chief executive of Horsham District Council, Martin Pearson, openly voicing his opposition to the North of Horsham Devolopment - Stop the Housebuilding has been against this from the start - he then ruins it by advocating HDC switches back to other areas it had looked at for future development, in particular Southwater, Billingshurst and other parts of Horsham.
In particular he states that Southwater would be able to meet the housing needs without having to breach any by-pass (referring to the A264 for the North Horsham development).
This is obviously true in some respects but would also mean that there would be increasing risk of infill between Horsham and Southwater until they were one, the same as has happened at Broadbridge Heath.
It would again all be on greenfield sites and he misses the main problem with HDC’s planned development which is that it is just too large for this semi-rural part of West Sussex and the planned yearly builds are set way too high and not realistic.
We feel the only answer is for a lower total figure based around a number of much smaller and more sustainable developments spread throughout the Horsham area (including the Novartis site) and with a more achievable lower amount of annual builds. The builds also need to be primarily on brownfield sites not the 99 per cent greenfiled sites as with the current plans.
Whether it is the North of Horsham development or the one at Southwater that eventually gets the go ahead, the fact is that the developers will then push for even more housing to make it more cost effective (profitable) for them, and this will have to be fought against.
Lastly, the elections in May could have a bearing on the debate as, while it is clear houses are required in the Horsham area, it does appear from people we have spoken with that this cannot be to the detriment of the market town and surrounding area.
Stop the Housebuilding, Highlands Road, Horsham