LETTER: Crucial report is very revealing

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The letter by Jonathan Dancer (‘Discovery of crucial report’) reveals a simply extraordinary state of affairs at HDC that has prevented residents from seeing a key document about a local site being ‘consulted upon’ in the draft Local Planning Framework.

A 300 page study of the North Horsham site (‘Transport, infrastructure and flood risk’) was submitted to HDC but HDC was not prepared to make this document available to the public. It was commissioned from Peter Brett Associates (PBA) by Liberty, the American developer wanting to build on the land north of Horsham.

Residents wrote to HDC for permission to see it and even submitted a Freedom of Information request ( FOI) – all without success. Councillors were invited to go to the council offices by appointment and read the document in secret! We know one councillor, Christian Mitchell, did this because he asked questions about the study on 13 February 2014 at the meeting called ‘Planning for our Future - Jobs and Homes’ which the public was allowed to view. So the document’s existence became public record – but still we the people were not allowed to see it.

Now we hear it was delivered to the Planning Inspector’s office but only at the start of the Public Enquiry, on November 4. No wonder the Mr Salter, the Inspector, looked puzzled when Jonathan Dancer referred to this critical report – Mr Salter knew nothing about it. This despite the fact that everything was to be submitted for consideration weeks in advance.

HDC Officers and Cllr Vickers (who were present during the sessions) had made no moves to check that the Inspector had seen this report. Perhaps they didn’t want him to see it during the examination? After all they had commissioned two other transport studies, both severely flawed as reported through your letters columns. The revelations of this PBA study don’t help HDC’s case one little bit. The reports can be seen at www. savingnorthhorsham.co.uk - long but very revealing.

Rachel Fuller

Primrose Copse, Horsham