LETTER: Democracy and North Horsham

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Your letters

I commend the editorial Comment in the latest WSCT.

The problem is how to deliver improved accountability with one so dominant party and its policy on new housing skewing the vote to the right, despite the divisions and incompetence of the local Tory Group.

May be you need to follow on your successful Free Speech Charter with a Charter for democracy and that the votes cast locally should be better represented in the seats won! I would be very happy to sign.

To that end I could only smile at the tired rhetoric from Mr Dawe in his WSCT article about HDC duties and obligations under the local plan and the revised motion. As one of his new members pointed out, North Horsham proposals have only been around in public for two years, even if under the table for five. Other viable options do exist!

Which brings me to the Liberty latest Masterplan (page 20 of last week’s WSCT) and the letter from Mr Blevins of Liberty.

The latest Masterplan, in marked contrast to that I studied at the April exhibition, shows a ‘Railway Station’ on the site. The April version referred to a ‘possible new railway station’!

So a few direct questions to Mr Blevins and Liberty in the light of the new Masterplan and his letter:

Is the new station now a firm and accepted proposal agreed by Network Rail and Southern with HDC and Liberty? If so can the people of Horsham see the correspondence please? In the event there has been a change of heart, where are the train paths and capacity on the critical London Brighton line coming from?

The Davies Airports Commission is about to submit its recommendations for new runway capacity to Government. A Gatwick option remains on the short list.

Aircraft from any new runway will route very close to the North Horsham site, mostly on departure, circa 40 per hour, reducing North Horsham attractiveness.

Would it not be worth waiting for that announcement before making any possibly spurious application for development in North Horsham?

The Horsham Society and many correspondents to WSCT have questioned the need for more office development, particularly out of town, when so many modern offices in Horsham are being converted to residential use. Will Liberty name the firms who have shown interest and repeat their record in encouraging such development at West Malling?

Will Liberty guarantee now that 40 per cent of any new housing in North Horsham would be affordable / social housing?

The people of Horsham need answers to these critical questions from Liberty and HDC.

L.N. PRICE

Smithbarn, Horsham

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