LETTER: Development plan must be sound

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You reported (WSCT, Sept 10 p1) that ‘a judicial review could be launched by the town’s parish council aimed at stopping massive housebuilding north of Horsham.

North Horsham Parish Council agreed to a £30,000 budget for legal expenses as they seek legal advice on the ‘appropriateness, lawfulness and viability’ of Horsham District Council’s Local Plan on Thursday September 3’.

Councils can only adopt a Local Plan that is sound - it must conform with national policy, be supported by evidence and take the views of local people into account.

A judgement would be sought as to whether the ‘process’ that HDC has followed over several years (and reported fully in your paper over the past two years) is lawful in relation to national policy, based on sound evidence and involving meaningful consultation with local people.

The objectivity of the role of the Inspector would be another part of the Review. Local councillors will be asked to account for their part in the ‘process’ on oath – which would be truly enlightening.

Since all residents in Horsham District will be adversely affected by the proposed local plan – for example infrastructure, environment, affordable housing – it should not be seen as just about North Horsham. A Judge could stop the whole process and ask that the council start again – bringing all parties together to find a better solution for our district.

David Shipton

Downsview Road, Horsham

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