LETTER: County sidelined over planning

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‘North Horsham County Local Committee’ is made up of West Sussex County Council (WSCC) from the northern part of the county.

It meets several times a year to discuss issues that affect the north of the county. Members of the public can attend and the chairman, county councillor Brad Watson OBE, runs the meeting in a very open way allowing members of the public to have their say – quite a different ethos to the way that Cllr Ray Dawe runs HDC.

It met on July 6 and your readers might well be interested to look at the minutes paras 12 - 15 (westsussex.gov.uk/ds/clc/nh/nh060715ucmins.pdf).

The subject was ‘A264 Junctions to North of Horsham Development’ – sounds rather dry but it affects all of us living in Horsham District who use the A24 and the A264.

Mr Gledhill – a planner at WSCC - was present to advise the committee considering a report by the Executive Director of Residents Services and Director of Strategic Planning which outlined the highway proposals associated with the development known as the Land North of Horsham.

A key issue for all residents is the impact this development will have on traffic flows on the A24 and the A264.

Following the Inspection of Cllr Vickers’ Main Modification (MM23) to her housing plan what is still required - and still hasn’t been done - is a comprehensive study including the provision for consequential infrastructure needs (including funding).

As reported in the minutes Mr Gledhill explained that developers would have to pay for everything.

Liberty’s MD, Mr Blevins, may have to think about that before he puts in his now very delayed planning application.

Mr Gledhill was given a rough ride. I can’t ever remember minutes from this committee being so blunt.

The chairman told Mr Gledhill that while West Sussex Highway officers remained neutral ‘however, from the proposed plans, you could assume the proposals were pretty settled’.

Councillors weighed in stating their opposition to the plans and asking why they had not been consulted before now?

The chairman commented that he felt councillors had been disadvantaged and side-lined with no access to the information until now.

He asked that the message be reported back and that councillors have an input and be in a position to influence before plans were written down. Members of the public were allowed to have their say as well.

Evidently county councillors have been sidelined and whether all this has any connection with Andrew Baldwin’s resignation statement (June 24) needs to be investigated.

Is there more to come out of the woodwork here? Is there more material to put before the High Court for Judicial Review?

EDUARDO DELGADO

Parry Close, Horsham

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