LETTER: Despair at plans for 5,000 homes

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I read with despair that even more houses - a 5,000 home settlement - are planned for the Horsham area and this seems endemic throughout England.

It seems that builders can build anywhere with little opposition. I have been writing to Horsham MP Francis Maude on a number of subjects and would précis these below.

I wrote in October 2013 asking why all of the new houses were being constructed without the most energy saving designs.

As an example: I said that greenfield sites are being used as solar farms and if these are so efficient why are solar panels not fitted on new homes to reduce running costs to the end users and reduce the load on the public utilities.

Mr Maude wrote back enclosing a copy of a letter from the Department of Energy and Climate Control which stated that ‘the government was committed to enable all new homes to be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016 (planned for growth 2011 reaffirmed in budget of 2013)’.

I replied on January 7, 2014 that it was great to hear that all new homes would be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016 but in the meantime thousands and thousands of new homes will be built without this benefit. Why is this being delayed to 2016?

Mr Maude replied that the lead time and planning process and construction of housing development are such that new legislation has to come with fair warning to the construction industry.

I feel that there has already been a long lead in time on such an important matter and believe also there is an EC proposal of a 30 per cent reduction in energy use by 2030 and even mention that this should be reduced to 40 per cent.

You would think that as a green party they would want to bring forward ‘zero carbon’ legislation before the next election as a party achievement. How will we achieve this reduction in energy?

I further mentioned that no matter how many houses we build we will never solve the problem of sufficient houses with the vast influx of immigration not only from the EU but from all over the world and not to mention the million or so illegal immigrants who are using all the facilities of our country.

Already hospitals cannot cope, schools are overcrowded, utilities have insufficient capacity, flooding, loss of green fields, sewers overloaded, roads overcrowded and the welfare system cannot cope. I said that the only way to drastically reduce these problems would be to virtually stop all immigration.

Mr Maude advised that the government made a clear promise to reduce and control immigration and gave information to what they were doing to this end.

From what I see immigration is totally out of control and something drastically and quickly needs to be done about it or we will end up with no green fields and the country will be sinking under the weight of new houses. I must say that the previous government’s ‘open door immigration policy’ has much to answer for.

When the Novartis site was vacated I wrote to Mr Maude stating that this would be an ideal site for a hospital which is needed in Horsham NOW, especially with the vast increase in the population in the area.

Mr Maude responded that to bring a new hospital to Horsham foundered because the local GPs did not support it although he did mention that a number of options were being considered for the site, some of which are health care related.

I found this extremely disappointing from the GPs, as a hospital has been talked about for years but never a firm date for its construction, they of all people should know that a hospital is needed now and not sometime in the distant future.

These are my brief views on the housing problems and other situations.

T.C. EDWARDS

Depot Road, Horsham