A 12-year-old girl from North Horsham has asked what she has done to ‘upset’ Horsham District Council (HDC) to ‘want to destroy our town’ with development.
Jessica Best, of Primrose Copse, asked her father what he was writing while he was finishing a letter to the council and County Times in response to plans for 2,500 homes in North Horsham on Friday (September 20).
After he told her, she questioned: “Daddy – why do they [HDC] want to destroy our town? What have we done to upset Horsham council?
“Why can’t they just leave Horsham alone.
“Everyone loves this town as it is, and this is just going to ruin it for everyone - especially the wildlife.”
Her mother, Joanne Best, explained that her daughter ‘loves nature and the beautiful countryside around us and can’t understand why houses can’t be built elsewhere and limit the impact on our environment’.
She continued: “She has seen the ongoing destruction around Holmbush Farm and at Broadbridge Heath which is all very sad to see; so the mere thought of even more houses being built and what further destruction lays ahead, really does pull at her heartstrings - as it is right on her door steps.”
Her husband, James Best, included Jessica’s comments at the end of his letter.
He wrote: “As we know kids have a tendency to say it as it is - and quite often see things better than adults.”
Jim claimed going ahead with the proposal would breach the human rights of his fellow residents. He said: “Indeed, is [the proposal] a breach of the residents of North Horsham’s human rights?
“I think so - and it would be interesting to hear what the European courts thought too.”
The father, who said he is ‘immensely proud’ of the town, asked if the wishes of Horsham people would ‘simply be ignored’ by HDC.
He continued: “So why do I now feel let down and have a feeling of distrust of HDC with regards to what is being proposed?
“Is it because I can see that the only people that will benefit from this are the developers and dare I say the council - and that the wishes of the local residents will simply be ignored?”
Consultations are on-going and a number of exhibitions are being held across the district to discuss plans for 2,500 homes in North Horsham with the public.
In recent weeks this newspaper has carried numerous letters of objections from readers.
Despite weeks of extended coverage and debate, controversy surrounding the proposed North Horsham development plans refuses to abate.
Although the plans for 2,500 homes and associated infrastructure and community facilities are for north of the A264, north of Horsham, they affect all of the district because the government has made it clear that building no new homes is not an option - and so, if not North Horsham, where?
Last week Claire Vickers, Horsham District Council’s cabinet member for housing policy, addressed a number of questions concerning North Horsham’s inclusion in HDC’s preferred housing strategy.
However, some were not impressed and campaign group RAGE took it upon itself to pen its own answers to the same questions (see pages 32&33 in today’s County Times).
The same question and answer format was lauded though by the developer behind the scheme, Liberty Property Trust, whose managing director has submitted new answers to another set of questions put to him (see page 34) which he hopes corrects some inaccuracies he says are dominating the debate.
On page 30, the emotive tale of a worried 12 year old girl joins the fray, whilst the development debate ensues again in our Letters section(pages 36-40), once more alive with views and opinions from the people of the Horsham district.
Coverage continues on page 41 too where the Horsham Society calls for a public meeting while in our Horsham edition Francis Maude MP enters the debate in his column.
And don’t forget the County Times first broke this story in January 2011. Public consultation ends on October 11.
For more exclusive coverage on the plans for North Horsham, pick up today’s County Times (September 26).