LETTER: Appalled at the use of leading QC

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I was appalled to note that HDC wasted more of taxpayers’ money on pushing forward the proposed North Horsham development by hiring a private QC, Christopher Katkowski, of Landmark Chambers, specialising in litigation concerning planning inquiries - to represent HDC’s planning department against us, local residents and taxpayers!

Surely a planning department would normally be expected to represent its own decisions? A disgusting move by HDC. How much of our money will they be allowed to waste?

Now, thanks to Cllr Claire Vickers and Liberty Trust, her preferred developers for housing in the district, we have a proposal for a tragic build on the Strategic Gap between Horsham and Crawley on the table.

This wholly unsuitable site, broken off from the rest of the town and from any viable pedestrian and cycle access by the A264 (proposed to be bridged-over and made useless by the installation of at least four grade-level crossings with traffic lights), will be completed by virtue of the taxpayers’ large donation to Liberty Trust.

To develop on a green field site with no existing infrastructure would be nothing short of a travesty for everyone, from the taxpayer who would be funding the remedial works through to protected species inhabiting the site, and the unfortunate eventual home owners who no doubt won’t be told that their new homes lie on a flood plain. This last expensive effort on the part of HDC shouts of desperation from a council trying to distract attention from other more viable planning options.

We, Horsham parents, have to cart our children to a school across the A264, whilst Southwater parents bus their children to schools in Horsham at an enormous cost - and everybody pays. This should give Rt Hon Nick Herbert some further ideas - ‘Where is our tax money going?’...

HDC, with its deep pockets filled with taxpayers’ money, has transgressed all boundaries by securing the services of a private QC to represent it against its own people.

Democracy? I think not – this smacks of something far more oppressive and sinister. So where is higher Government in this equation? Perhaps they’re hiding behind the Localism Act, pretending they don’t know what’s going on here. If so, it’s unfortunate for them that we all do.

STEPHANIE MATSON

Longfellow Close, Horsham