LETTER: Debate over access road

Your letters
Your letters

As Chair of Horsham Denne Neighbourhood Council (HDNC) I am responding to Kevan Mitchell’s concerns regarding the new access road from Hills Farm Lane to the Berkeley’s Highwood housing development.

HDNC is a statutory consultee for all planning applications within our boundaries. The whole Highwood development is within our area and we have been in constant contact with Berkeley’s, Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council since the development was first proposed in 2009.

Despite many objections, including from HDNC, the outline Masterplan DC/09/2138 was approved and there have been many subsequent detailed planning applications. HDNC has always responded to these applications and been able to achieve improvements on several occasions, including to this plan DC/15/1826 for the Southern Access Road and Arun East Bridge.

As this road was part of the original Masterplan it is impossible to object to its being built; but there have been nearly two years of discussions regarding its route and safety. Contrary to Mr Mitchell’s assertion the application was advertised and notices were displayed in Hills Farm Lane so local people should be fully aware of the proposals and had an opportunity to submit their views. HDNC objected to several aspects of the detailed application and our full responses can be seen on the HDC website.

We have succeeded in getting the bridge location moved which saves one of the large old oak trees and means a minimum number of less important trees will need to be removed.

The single track road will have very little traffic as its use is restricted to buses, emergency vehicles and bicycles only.

The access point is regarded as the safest location since vehicles will be forced to slow down at the bend because of additional safety measures. HDNC insisted that there will be pedestrian refuges either side of the junction in Hills Farm Lane, which will make it safer for people to cross the road, reduce speeds and prevent vehicles cutting the corner.

Additionally we have fought to make certain that there is no access available onto the road or recreation area for unauthorised vehicles and suggested an alternative entrance for maintenance vehicles.

Last but not least we have ensured that easy access is available across the new road to the recreation area for walkers and for those enjoying the Riverside Walk Path. There will inevitably be some disruption during construction but we have asked that full information is displayed about alternative routes.

The good news is that, as part of its Riverside Walk Project, Horsham Town Community Partnership has received funding to resurface the section of the Riverside Walk path adjacent to the new road and work will begin in the summer.

If you would like to know more about how hard HDNC works for the benefit of our local community and Horsham town please visit our website http://www.denneneighbourhoodcouncil.btck.co.uk/ where you can also find a map showing the Denne area. Residents are welcome to attend our monthly meetings and we do have vacancies for new councillors.

Trudie Mitchell

Brockhurst Close, Horsham

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