500 new Billingshurst homes ‘won’t be our salvation’

I AM SURE we all respect Mr Spurrier’s letter and his love of Billingshurst (County Times July 21) but he is sadly misguided to think that accepting 500 planned houses, when Horsham District Council admits there will still be extra unplanned growth, could be our salvation.

Each planning application should be dealt with on merit. In the 46 years I have lived in Billingshurst, three sites for a primary school have been identified.

1. The school opposite Carpenters estate built in 1970 was full to capacity by 1971.

2. St Gabriel’s Field was a gift to build a school; the school was never built and the site was developed for housing instead.

3. Forge Way site was surplus to requirements; more houses were built here.

The county council will look at vacant school places across the district. We are unlikely to get a new school this time and no provision has been made for senior pupils.

The demise of the High street is a national problem. Billingshurst is fortunate to have several excellent specialist shops, but unfortunately any available extra parking space within reasonable walking distance has already been developed for housing.

As I have not written to your paper before I consider myself one of the ‘non-vocal majority’.

The way forward is to use our local shops, protect our woods and fields, accept some sustainable development, but not to allow a vast unmanageable tide of building to swamp our village.

MARGARET GLADMAN

Broomfield Drive, Billingshurst