‘Enough is enough’ on more Broadbridge Heath housing

JPCT 270813 S13351192x Broadbridge Heath planning consultation -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 270813 S13351192x Broadbridge Heath planning consultation -photo by Steve Cobb

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Angry villagers have said ‘enough is enough’ to large-scale housebuilding in Broadbridge Heath as it faces another possible 200 homes.

Barton Willmore held an event at St John’s Church in Church Road on Tuesday August 27 to consult residents on the possibility of either 200 residential units, or 160 homes and a 60-bed care home on land north of Old Guildford Road.

JPCT 270813 S13351179x Broadbridge Heath planning consultation -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 270813 S13351179x Broadbridge Heath planning consultation -photo by Steve Cobb

However with the village already seeing 963 homes built south of Broadbridge Heath, residents spoke of their worry at existing infrastructure problems being accentuated by any further housebuilding.

Alan Baker, who lives in Heath Close and has been in the village for most of his life and continuously since 1967, said: “We do not want it, plain and simple, especially the access points which are very dangerous.

“Broadbridge Heath is no longer a village. If not for the A24 it would be Horsham,” he added.

“We do feel strongly, and we feel enough is enough and we do not want another 200 houses.”

He thought the care home option was a sop and did not expect it to be built.

Under plans the housing element of the scheme would be built on land behind the Shelley Arms pub, with the care home on land nearer the Farthings Hill roundabout with access provided near the Sleets Road/Old Guildford Road junction.

Ruth and John Bradbury, of Sullington Mead, questioned whether greenfields should be continually built on, and raised safety concerns over the mini-roundabout at the junction of Sleets Road and Old Guildford Road.

Ruth said: “It’s a death trap with some of the cars speeding through the village, and it’s only going to get worse.”

John thought that the lack of a nearby major hospital continued to be a major worry for people in the village, and pointed out that water pressure was already very low in many properties.

Currently Horsham District Council is consulting on its draft housing plan, which will lay out where and how many houses are built in the next 20 years.

However until it has an adopted plan it is facing the reality of seeing many of its decisions overturned by the Government’s planning inspector.

Mr Baker added: “I feel sorry for the council. They are between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

Another resident, who did not want to be named, expressed her disappointment at the potential loss of another greenfield in the village, and felt that open spaces were getting harder and harder for people in Broadbridge Heath to access.

Andrew Willford, associate for planning consultant Barton Willmore, which is acting as the agent for the scheme, said: “Obviously proposals for housing are seen as controversial and all we are trying to do is engage with the local community.”

He added: “It’s a really important process for us to meet the local community and try and put out why we are here and why we are looking at this site and understanding their views.”

Mr Willford said that under either of the two options being proposed they would look to provide 35 to 40 per cent affordable housing, in line with HDC’s current targets.

To view proposals and display boards visit their website at www.bbhproposals.co.uk

The deadline to send in comments is September 10.