LETTER: Demand best for Horsham

Your letters
Your letters

I see from your pages that Liberty has now submitted a planning application for its flawed proposed North of Horsham development. Liberty continues to take a liberty with the actuality and, so it appears following the reported ‘detailed and ongoing discussions’, the County and District Councils continue their acquiescence / complicity.

Liberty claims that ‘up to 30 per cent of homes will be allocated to meet local needs’. Achievements West of Horsham / South of Broadbridge Heath relied on the qualification ‘up to’ and look what happened there.

Liberty states that renting is growing in popularity with younger generations as ‘it offers flexibility and time to save to buy’. No! People rent because they can’t afford to buy; because the council does not ensure that truly affordable housing is built.

Liberty states that WSCC is ‘prioritising delivery of a new secondary school’ but that is less than half the truth. Obviously a new secondary school is needed to save the £250,000 (and rising) annual cost and waste of bussing children from Southwater and surrounding areas into Horsham and back.

However, building a new school North of Horsham will not reduce that - and it would mean the catchment areas for Millais, Forest and Tanbridge would be redrawn to exclude existing properties in North Horsham.

Liberty states that it will ‘pay for improvements to public transport services as well as walking and cycling routes ... and will also pay for major improvements to the [by then severely congested] A264 and other roads and junctions in the area’.

Liberty omits to mention that the shortfall in infrastructure costs, well over £10 million at the last count, will be paid by local rate-payers - whether they like it or not!

Liberty continues to perpetuate the myth of ‘a new parkway train station’ knowing full well that, for operational reasons, Network Rail has stated it will only permit one new station between Horsham and Crawley and that a new station has already been planned at Kilnwood Vale - where properties have been and continue to be built and sold on the basis of a new station there.

Will WSCC and HDC do the right thing and support the thousands of pre-existing residents at Kilnwood Vale or favour potential residents North of Horsham (and to the detriment of existing Horsham residents who would suffer the loss of services from and to Littlehaven)?

Liberty states that a new business park will create ‘up to’ 4,000 jobs.

If at all, those ‘jobs’ are likely to come from existing Horsham businesses moving premises - leaving Horsham town centre even more denuded.

Liberty’s flawed proposal is too important to be left to the behind-closed-doors machinations of the council. What is best for Horsham will only happen if sufficient residents respond to the application DC/16/1677 at https://public-access.horsham.gov.uk/public-access/ and make demands of their councillors.

The ‘Consultation’ expires on Thu 25 Aug 2016 - before the end of the summer holiday period.

Wouldn’t you just know it!

C. Morris

Tennyson Close, Horsham

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