LETTER: Brown-field site ready for homes

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In all the discussions about the flawed strategic plan railroaded through the council by

councillors Dawe, Croft, Vickers, Rae, Baldwin, Cornell, O’Connell and Circus the ele-

phant in the room was the sudden availability of the Novartis site in North Horsham.

It is not referred to in the documents that were approved by council on April 30. It is a brown-field site of considerable acreage suitable for housing and industrial development.

In the responses to the HDC’s consultation, Novartis have written a letter attached to their submission, which is by Jonathan Waugh of CgMs, a London firm acting on behalf of Novartis. The form we all had to use is not completed, just ‘please see accompanying letter’.

We would like to have done that. Two full A4 pages and not the 200 words the rest of us ‘plebs’ - as we are treated by the HDC - had to abide to.

The letter included the following: ‘As presented to the Horsham District Council Chief Executive Officer, Tom Crowley, Novartis remain committed to identifying an occupier who can continue the science use. Novartis are accordingly undertaking an extensive search for an occupier for uses in this sector.

‘Notwithstanding these efforts and Novartis’ commitment to ensuring a legacy to the Horsham operation, in the event that this search was unsuccessful, Novartis would be obliged to consider alternative uses for the land which may include employment or residential uses...

‘The land represents a brownfield site, located on previously developed land, which will become redundant for its current use and available for redevelopment in Quarter 3, 2014... As this land is not designated for employment use and has been previously developed, it should be considered for housing before greenfield land and land outside the built-up area is released for development. The site provides an opportunity to form a new residential quarter, close to the town centre, to add to the vibrancy and vitality of the town’s central area and provide choice in the type and location of new housing.

This site should therefore be considered within Strategy Policy 14 in terms of its ability to deliver new housing and assist in meeting the district’s housing need over the plan period’.

This couldn’t be clearer and so why doesn’t Cllr Dawe make this the subject of his ‘free speech’ fortnightly contribution to your paper and tell us why the Novartis site does not

form the centrepiece of the HDC Local Plan.

BRIAN JOHNSON

Langhurstwood Road, Horsham