I decided to attend the HDC public exhibition in Swan Walk with the expectation of obtaining answers and explanations in regard to my concerns with the proposed North Horsham development.
On arriving it became apparent that there was no representative from the developer who I believe put the proposals together (Liberty Property), any councillor who voted for the proposal or any representative who was adequately informed to give any satisfactory answers to even the most basic question. The experience has left me frustrated and even more concerned in regard to the level of thought that HDC has put into this process.
As a result of my experience I have listed the questions I asked and in summary the responses received with the hope that somebody at HDC can advise me if these are correct or advise me when or where I can get answers to my concerns.
Q1, I live in Holbrook (we have two young children) and one of the main factors in moving to this area was that it’s in the catchment area for Millais and Forest Boys, how will the development affect this?
Answer, we are not really sure yet. We (HDC) are in discussions with Millias and Forest Boys which have excellent Offsted reports, to partner with the new school, therefore you shouldn’t have worries in regard to the quality of school your children may attend.
Q1 (follow up) Can you advise me of what’s being discussed and how I can find out more?
A. More information may become available during the final planning application.
Q2. Referring to the map of the development. As a commuter a key choice when we chose our current property was the proximity to Littlehaven train station, how will the development effect my commute? The new train station shown is nowhere near the main housing for the development? Have Network Rail approved these plans?
A. Network Rail have approved a new train station and will be shutting Faygate to ensure that the network in not slowed down.
Q. Isn’t the new train station part of the Kilnwood Vale development?
A. Yes, but we will probably also get a new station in North Horsham!
Q. Why is the new train station as shown so far away from the main bulk of housing?
A. These are indicative proposals which will be developed during planning.
Q (To a gentleman who worked in highways at HDC). How will the development affect the highways in and around North Horsham. Rusper Road and Giblets Way are already congested at rush hour?
A. We have completed our initial highways study and we foresee no major issues. We are looking to install traffic lights on the Rusper roundabout!
Q. How’s that going to help?
A. There will be further in depth studies during the main planning application.
Q. How will the local infrastructure such as healthcare cope with the increase in population?
A. We have been in consultation with the local NHS authority and will be improving local facilities by building a new GP surgery as part of the development.
Q. How is that going to improve facilities in Horsham, shouldn’t we be looking at improving the facilities in Horsham as a whole? Existing facilities are already struggling?
A. There is also facilities in Crawley!
The whole exercise came across to me as an an absurd pretence intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance to a scheme that is ill-considered. The scheme will affect my family’s foreseeable future and the least I expect from HDC is considered answers to basic questions so that as a family we can make an informed decision on whether our future still lies in Horsham.
Durfold Road, Horsham