LETTER: Chance to rethink planning strategy

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Horsham residents wait with bated breath to see how Horsham District Council will react to this depressing news on the potential closure of Novartis. Let’s hope the council fulfils its responsibility to ensure the loss of so many jobs is not in vain.

Undoubtedly, HDC has been aware of this potential development opportunity for some time, yet has chosen to ignore it as part of its Preferred Strategy.

Surely, if councillors Vickers and Dawes are correct in their assumption that Horsham is in desperate need of a world class business park, where better to put it?

This premium site is easily accessible, close to Horsham station with well-used, established and existing road links and service infrastructure. The icing on the cake? This potential disaster could create job opportunities for the 371 people about to lose theirs and possibly many more.

We wonder how long it will be before we hear the hackneyed catchphrase beloved by HDC, that this site is ‘of the wrong quality, in the wrong place’!

If this really is the case, and the Novartis site is not suitable for commercial redevelopment, common sense dictates that it is the perfect opportunity to help meet the local housing need.

Not with more detached, family homes that fuel the inward migration from outside the district, but a scheme that actually meets the specific housing needs of the Horsham District.

The location of the Novartis site presents the ideal opportunity to provide smaller, higher density properties, which will address the shortfall in Horsham for properties suited to first time buyers and more senior residents looking to downsize from their existing family homes.

It’s said that ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, the one hanging over the Novartis site is no different, it represents a massive opportunity for HDC to rethink its Preferred Strategy.

Come on councillor Vickers - do the right thing - don’t destroy our beautiful countryside, focus on the solutions that are staring you in the face!


Rusper Road, Horsham