LETTER: Generous offer to Reigate council

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Valerie Wise’s letter in WSCT last week ‘Generous offer to Brighton council’ prompted me to look at other council responses to the consultation.

I thought the ‘duty to co-operate’ only applied to councils contiguous with our own – as the Inspector looks at geographic regions rather than simple neat administrative boundaries. So Horsham, Crawley and part of Mid-Sussex might be regarded as a geographical area.

But Reigate and Banstead ( Pro Sub No 2884)?? Isn’t this carrying the ‘duty to co-operate’ a bit far? The Reigate and Banstead Council were delighted to get such a generous HDC offer and they not surprisingly support HDC’s wonderful plan. I am not sure what they are offering us in return - perhaps Cllrs Dawe, Vickers, Croft and Rae could enlighten us.

Will this council make up the lost CIL money referred to recently in your columns? Extracts from their response (214 words) include the following (note no reference to a specific policy as we were told we must do):

‘Chapter 6 Housing: The Reigate & Banstead Core Strategy has recently been examined by a Planning Inspector. The Inspector considered that the borough was able to provide sufficient housing to meet the full need arising from the local population and allow for some continuing in-migration from other parts of the housing market area (or wider), including from Crawley. He also concluded that the Council had demonstrated that it was unable to fully meet its objectively assessed housing needs (600-640 homes per year compared to the housing target of 460 per year). This Council is therefore committed to engaging actively with neighbouring authorities to understand the extent to which they may be able to accommodate some of Reigate & Banstead’s unmet needs, including through joint working including across the Gatwick Diamond… we would like to seek clarification about the extent to which needs arising from Reigate & Banstead would be met’.

I’ll bet they would. Cllr Dawe and his gang are generously giving away our birthright – no consultations with his full council or residents. Perhaps Cllr Dawe has identified additional building land in his southern ward. I hope voters are noting.

ROGER BAKER

New Moorhead Drive, Horsham