The huge public controversy over massive development in North Horsham reaches its crescendo at a meeting of the district council on Wednesday (April 30) - and one person has staunchly defended it from the outset.
From the day the County Times’ first revealed the plan, the commentator ‘Ninety’ on this website has heaped praise on it - and roundly criticised detractors of the plan.
What sets ‘Ninety’ apart from other users of the site is not merely his support - he appears to be the only resident committed to it - but his unflagging enthusiasm.
I say ‘he’. It could be a woman. But references to councillors by their surname only - such as ‘Mitchell’ - suggest otherwise.
Regular users have also noticed that the only stories he comments on are those linked to this development.
So who is the writer behind the alias ‘Ninety’?
Other commentators have given their real names - like Andrew Campbell (‘Motobiman’) and Sheila White.
But ‘Ninety’ remains a mystery.
Some of his words so echo those of the ruling clique at Horsham District Council it would be easy to guess he was a member of the ruling group.
However, in one post when challenged on the point, he says not. I have no reason to disbelieve him.
On that occasion, on April 22 responding to our article ‘Why secrecy and the threat of sanctions make the North Horsham plan unsafe’ he told us this about himself: “I am not a councillor and do not work for the council. From what I have seen there hasn’t been any reasoned or well constructed arguments against. Do you know anything about the alternative proposals? Do you know why they were ignored? I expect council officers will have looked at the alternatives and decided they were not viable. I think the business park is a good thing for the town. I understand everyone has different opinions, but bashing the council at every opportunity is poor.”
But when he wrote about the small number of North Horsham objections he sounded just like an HDC spokesperson.
“Oh yes David3578 absolute minority. 56,000 people in Horsham - 1500 comments from 700 people.... errrrrr” (April 27, 2014).
And his reference to the cost of Freedom of Information requests had a similar ring: “I wonder how much all of Mr Richardson’s freedom of information requests cost us tax payers.”
HDC has said this to us on a number of occasions at off the record briefings.
What other clues does he give us?
In a post on September 7, 2013, in response to the article ‘Call for calm at meeting to discuss 2,500 North of Horsham homes’ he tells us more about himself than on any other occasion: “I think the efforts the councillors are going to, to make sure there are jobs for our kids in the future are laudable. I am lucky to live in the North of Horsham, I presume my home was once part of an unpopular development. Seems somewhat selfish not to give others the same opportunity?? Sorry, but there are Horsham residents like me who think this is a good idea!”
From this we learn he lives in the North of Horsham and his home was once part of a new-build development.
On April 21, 2013, responding to our Weekend Debate ‘New hospital ... golden opportunity or monumental bribe?’ about an A&E as part of the North Horsham development, he added this: “Golden opportunity. Looks like some thought has gone into this. We have been here 14 years, have kids and parents and I worry if anything happens whether we would survive the journey to the hospital let alone the poor facilities at any of the surrounding hospitals. Just get on with it!!”
So we know he has been here 14 years and has children.
But who are you ‘Ninety’? I challenge you to tell us.
While I take you at your word that you are not a councillor or a council officer - do you have any personal interest in this development going ahead?
While I respect the fact that our commenting section allows anonymous posts - subject to registration - I put my name on my articles, stand by my opinions, and let others judge me for them.
Why won’t you?