LETTER: Concerns over ‘Cambridge plan’

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A local resident, Mr Delgado, wrote an open letter to the leader of Horsham District Council by email on Saturday, 7 June 2014 copied to the West Sussex County Times.

Mr Delgado seeks an explanation as to why on HDC’s leaflet in explaining how to write a representation on the housing plan, it states on the front page in the first bullet point that this, ‘is the local plan for Cambridge.’

Mr Delgado’s suspicion is HDC has simply cribbed or ‘cut and paste’ from documents in Cambridge where Liberty are also involved in a large site there.

1) Who proof read the leaflet/hand-out in question raised by Mr Delgado?

2) How did it come to be that the name Cambridge was mentioned in HDC’s leaflet given to the public during the public exhibition?

The name Cambridge sticks out like a sore thumb and of course demands an explanation. If it was a typo or an auto-correct from Horsham to say, Hersham or even Horley, that could be explained away with relative ease.

I suspect that the Inspector at the EiP is going to find this matter intriguing also. It will no doubt warrant, at the very least, a little time to satisfy him on the matter.

Again my concern remains that it appears to the public that HDC’s is acting ‘hand in glove’ with Liberty.

CHRISTIAN MITCHELL

(Con) Horsham district councillor for Holbrook West, North Street, Horsham

Response by chief executive of Horsham District Council Tom Crowley:

In common with other Local Planning Authorities we maintain a dialogue with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). As part of this we sought advice on best practice in the design of the documentation used by Councils to support the representation stage of their Local Plan (District Planning Framework) processes.

We were pointed to Cambridge City Council’s documents which we were advised are highly regarded by the Planning Inspectorate. Unfortunately, in adapting the Cambridge documents for use here, we did not pick up the fact that one reference to Cambridge remained in the version we published.

This has since been corrected.