Liberty describes its plan to build on 800 acres of countryside land in the Horsham-Crawley Strategic Gap as a ‘green vision’ (26.2.15, p1). The leaflet that dropped through my letterbox shows nothing of the sort.
The pretty ‘panorama’ shows sprawl consuming a vast amount of farmland, an area so large it has a ‘local centre’ and a ‘neighbourhood centre’ yet a ‘sports hub’ is far away at the other end at the back of an industrial estate. This directly contravenes the National Planning Policy Framework principles that housing density should increase not decrease, and not building on greenfield land until brownfield land has been used up.
Liberty’s pretty picture also seems not to tell the whole story - again. Their last leaflet about this development was censured by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Yet this time we see no picture or reference to the planned crematorium (which Horsham South refused to allow at West Grinstead). Cricket amid houses in their photo, although no cricket ground appears to be planned.
A railway station highlighted, despite the multiple reasons already in the public domain why permission for a station is extremely unlikely ever to be granted, even if requested.
Liberty presents itself as HDC’s partner, ‘working together’. Many residents are already appalled at the way the current ruling group has endorsed this huge land-grab on farmland they are supposed to protect from development.
The stark contrast with members of the same ruling group’s anguished ‘we must not build on countryside’ when the football club wanted to build on a much smaller piece of land next to the tip, park and ride, petrol station, trunk road, roundabout and golf range south of Horsham has been noted by us all. The reasons given why that development had to be refused also apply to the countryside North of Horsham.
Yet in the same leaflet this developer goes further, suggesting that after the recent Planning Inspector’s Examination, all that remains is to see how much more their North of Horsham project could increase by.
Not so. The Local Planning Framework was judged ‘not sound’ and must be reviewed by a newly-elected council, which may not support it. This £1billion project is not a done deal and does not have to be inflicted on Horsham.
Mrs Croft and Mr Rae have already lost their political careers in the Conservative Party over this irresponsible scheme that would destroy a huge area of countryside in the District. There is a better way, re-using brownfield land and sharing employment benefit while protecting countryside for us all.
R. FULLER (Mrs)
Primrose Copse, Horsham