Councillors have granted a business developer approval to reduce its transport contributions from thousands of pounds to just £2.
Two previously approved applications to build industrial units at Henfield Business Park in Shoreham Road, Henfield, were once again on the agenda at Horsham District Council’s development meeting on Tuesday (January 21) to dispute two transport contributions.
One bid by HHC Developments to create an industrial building containing five units was approved in May 2011. This included an agreement with West Sussex County Council to contribute £26,241 towards transport solutions. A second bid by the same developer was approved in October 2013, this time for two more units with a contribution of £12, 643.
In the two new applications, the developer questioned the validity of the legal agreement with the county council and whether the contributions had been ‘robustly justified’ and sought to reduce the costs to £1 each.
Brian O’Connell (Con: Henfield) said the county council’s transport contribution demand was ‘ridiculous’.
He said: “This is something that has been going on for a long, long time. The developer has since had businesses wishing to move into the units.
“The contribution asked by the county council is totally ridiculous. There’s no justification given for building only a couple of units.”
One of the county council’s requests was to create a cycle path from Woodmancote to Henfield, which Mr O’Connell laughed at the prospect of.
He added: “It’s good for business and I accept the recommendation.”
Brian Donnelly (Con Pulborough and Coldwaltham) said: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this, we could get it wrong. Cycle paths are a total waste of money, but this site will be adding to cars on the road, so there should be a transport charge. I don’t understand why the mechanics went so wrong.”
Councillors agreed to grant approval and reduce the transport contributions in both applications to £1 each.