First, as Horsham district councillors, the views expressed here are entirely our personal opinions.
Of course, we will continue to listen to and act upon any other information we receive, before making any final decisions.
There is no doubt that we need more housing in Horsham District for local residents, inevitable incomers, retirees downsizing, young people moving to their first homes and essential personnel.
We are sure we would all rather not have more building in our area, but if we say no, we will be over-ruled by others. Therefore we need to control numbers ourselves and ensure they remain at an essential minimum.
We must also make sure that there is a correct proportion of both social and affordable housing.
So where is it going to go? Wherever it is, there will be legitimate groups firmly against it. Thus our first preference is for a new town built to absorb the needs of Horsham District and adjacent areas.
This would need to be somewhere with good road and rail access and would have to have minimum impact on existing local communities.
Some say this will take too long, but four years ago it looked a more than possible solution. We think it can, and should be expedited.
The second preference is a town which could be enhanced by extra housing. Again it would have to have good access links.
Infrastructure would have to be put in place to absorb the effects of a considerable number of new houses.
There would be opposition, but if planned properly, such developments can revitalise an ailing community, give excellent facilities and make a much attractive place to live.
What is not an option is any proposal to substantially increase the number of houses in, and around Horsham town, and this includes, Broadbridge Heath, Southwater and land to be identified north of the Horsham bypass.
In fact, we have already gone too far with the expansions already being built.
Horsham is full!
Without very major improvements to the infrastructure; road rebuilding, schools, supermarkets, hospitals, parking etc, it would become impossible to operate.
Would you like to see the Warnham, Guildford, Worthing and Brighton Roads all made into dual carriage ways; North Heath and Pondtail Road become one way; car parks in or under Horsham Park; or even worse, Horsham become part of an expanded Crawley.
It is simply not an option we can for a moment consider.
(Con) Holbrook West
(Con) Holbrook West
North Street, Horsham