LETTER: Developers decide housing numbers

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Labour’s South East Plan (SEP) imposed on Horsham District 13,000 new houses that were to be built over 20 years to 2026 with a required build-rate of 650 per year.

This huge target has proved to be excessive and unachievable because the architects of the SEP got their sums wrong and did not foresee the recession.

They presumed incorrectly that economic growth and demand for new houses would continue at the pre-determined rate for 20 years.

Although the failure to meet the imposed and unachievable target is not the fault of Horsham District Council, communities in the District are nevertheless being penalised by the Planning Inspectorate.

In compliance with Government policy, the Inspectorate has approved on appeal planning applications refused by the district council and opposed by parish councils and residents. Developers, not communities, are deciding where and how many houses are built – not communities.

That Horsham District Council should now set itself a target, the same as that imposed on the District through the South East Plan, which has proved to be excessive and unachievable, defies common sense and logic – and risks continued imposition of developer-led development by the Planning Inspectorate.

Dr R.F. SMITH

For Campaign to Protect Rural England, Sussex-Horsham District, Bashurst Copse, Itchingfield