LETTER: Field is the jewel of the village

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In response to your ‘developer led’ article in last week’s paper, I would like to add my utter dismay to the proposal of yet more development in Broadbridge Heath.

To date the village has had some 963 homes already agreed to be developed.

This alone increases the size of the village by over a third.

We now have found ourselves campaigning to save our one piece of field left in the village.

This is not just a field with footpaths through the countryside, this is a much loved piece of land that is farmed yearly for agricultural use.

Whilst all is changing around us, this piece of land has been, for most of the village, a place of tranquillity and calm and right of safe passage for young and old alike. It has always been considered the jewel of the village.

Not only be threatened with a possible 160 houses and a 60 bed nursing home but to then find HDC’s SHLAA has earmarked the land for a possible two phase development of 250-plus homes beggars belief.

This is not even the end of the developers’ ‘shopping list’, to date we have 963 homes built, plus over 900 a stone’s throw away at the new Berkeley Homes development which will no doubt have an impact on the village.

Also according to the SHLAA and other recent sources more possible sites include, some 50 homes on old Broadbridge farm, homes on the Shelley school site, 200 or more on the quadrant site and more possible on the old Vauxhall site.

Could I therefore ask the HDC planning department, is Broadbridge Heath solving the Council’s five year planning headache single-handed ?

Is there no longer any sense of proportion left where country life is balanced with the need for development ?

Are historical sites of interest such as Shelley Place no longer protected by the environment and conservation laws ?

Is this all part of a master plan by the Government to flood the Horsham area with enough housing to accommodate the need for a second runway at Gatwick ?

Are our councillors now doing their jobs bound and gagged by the threat of an impossible housing plan ? And a planning inspectorate that can award costs against a council who dares to vote against a development ?

Do we not all have a responsibility to preserve the way of life we hold dear or should we all just accept the fact that Horsham and Crawley will merge together and our town will be forever changed for the worse ?

We are not all NIMBYs and all we are asking for is a fair and proportionate division of the housing situation we have found ourselves in due to HDC’s lack of foresight for the need for a five year plan leaving us open and vulnerable to greedy landowners and developers.

When looking at the plans for development, the entire housing needs should not fall on the shoulders of so few.

Laura Crosbie

Heath Close, Broadbridge Heath