Letter: Countryside overwhelmed

PAUL Deacon (Comment, January 12) is not alone in stating he is filled with nausea at the plans to destroy irrevocably our countryside.

We, who live on the doorstep of this outrageous proposal, are filled with nausea and deep anger.

When we purchased our property in 2008, we were led to believe by the council that the area north of the A264 was a conservation strip – a cushion between Crawley and Horsham, and this was one of the reasons why we purchased here, believing the area to be safe from development.

To say that North Horsham residents are being let down by Horsham District Council is an understatement – HDC will be in breach of its own policy of maintaining this essential greenfield strip north of the A264, along with its still signposted ‘Conservation Walks’.

We do not believe that there is a requirement for 4,500 new homes. Horsham already has a number of new developments underway, viz: Faygate – on a brownfield site.

Farthings Hill – a recently built high density development which required the cutting down of magnificent specimen trees adjacent to Farthings Hill veterinary practice. The Berkeley Homes new development site/sites. Michael Shanly development on Rusper Road between Holbrook and the Roffey turn-off. ... to name but a few.

Surrounding areas, eg Henfield, are also being filled with new build, as are many more in East Sussex, such as the Maresfield project.

The end result will be the overwhelming of Sussex countryside by new developments, clones of each other, with yet more concrete, more roads, car parks, traffic and all the negative aspects that irresponsible and unbridled development brings.

In a recent episode of BBC Countryfile, David Cameron stated that there would be no more building on greenfield sites – is the Prime Minister’s promise to be disregarded by Horsham District Council in impunity, simply so that speculators / developers can get their way, make a fast buck and then get out?

What has happened to democracy and the consultation process? Are we going to be informed by Horsham District Council as to what is really going on, or is this already a fait accompli?

We believe Horsham District Council should be following the national policy of acquiring old, empty properties and refurbishing them, using ONLY brownfield sites and like, for example, the London Borough of Hounslow, converting empty unused office buildings (there are a few in Horsham) to residential use.

Certainly, we do NOT need yet another supermarket in Horsham. With Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose and M&S Food Hall, a number of small local supermarkets, a number of excellent weekly markets and farmers’ markets and independent food shops, the population of Horsham is extremely well served.

We say NO to these proposals and will campaign against them by every means available to us.

J. DEE

Old Holbrook, Horsham