LETTER: Inspector lines up key questions

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Further to your article on the planning pubic inquiry into HDC’s Proposed Housing Strategy (Horsham edition, 18.9.14, p7) I went on the council’s planning framework website.

I see that the Inspector, Mr Salter, has quickly absorbed more than 3,000 responses and distilled the issues down to 45 questions he wants answers to from the district council (listed at:www.horsham.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/11443/ID-02-HDPF-Inspectors-Matters-and-Issues.pdf).

On Tuesday, 11 November when North Horsham is discussed the Inspector wants answers to: ‘What will be the impacts on the landscape, and the strategic gap between Horsham and Crawley?’ and ‘Are there any overriding constraints, for example regarding flooding, agricultural and loss or biodiversity impacts that cannot be mitigated satisfactorily? Do any such effects prevent development as a matter of policy?’ and ‘Can necessary infrastructure, including a new railway station, be delivered?’ and ‘What will be the implications for highway congestion and traffic safety?

And with regards to Southwater (on the 12 November) the Inspector wants to know from the council: ‘Should the allocation include employment land and a new secondary school?’ and tellingly: ‘Should a much more extensive area to the west of the allocation [of Southwater] be included?’

I wonder if Cllrs Vickers, her leader Ray Dawe and his deputy Helena Croft, along with Jim Rae will bother to turn up to answer the Inspector’s probing questions?

But of course as it’s a Public Inquiry into their decision and their decision making process the Gang of Four will probably choose to stay away, hoping that by May 2015 the pubic will have forgotten all about their ‘shenanigans’ (as Cllr Liz Kitchen called it in this paper) in seeking to protect the ‘Deep South’ (Cllr Peter Burgess) from any houses at all.

NEIL JONES

Tennyson Close, Horsham