Letter: Nausea at destruction

I SUPPORT wholeheartedly Paul Deacon’s article in last Thursday’s County Times. Like him I am filled with nausea at the thought of the destruction of another swathe of our countryside.

From reading the articles and comments from many sources in the County Times it appears that our district council and the developers have been in discussion since 2009. Has money already changed hands? Is this a ‘done deal’? If so then those responsible should be ashamed and held to account.

When we first came to Horsham in the early 1970s we were moving to a small market town. What attracted us here: 1. Horsham had an excellent hospital. 2. A good choice of excellent schools. 3. Good communication infrastructure.

The major overriding reason and attraction was the beauty of the surrounding area. Sadly we have seen the slow decimation of our town and its surrounding countryside.

While Horsham has grown tenfold, we have watched a decline in our core services and we are supposed to believe this is ‘for our good’.

We no longer have a maternity unit or A&E.

We have a police station which shuts at 5pm and everything then passes to a central control.

Our schools are oversubscribed due to continual and constant housing development.

Our streets and, in many places, pavements are blocked with parked cars due to planning guidelines which let developers build with only an allowance for 1.5 cars per dwelling. Where do you buy half a car?

Now it appears that our councillors, who were elected to do the best for the community, have ‘sold’ us out again.

In the proposal it shows a leisure centre, yet if we believe our council and its consultants we should demolish Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre as it’s not required!

The proposal shows a secondary school - no families with infants or pre-school children or juniors will be allowed to live there then?

More concerns are raised when you view Horsham council’s own Local Development Framework Map as firstly this development is not shown at all (yet it has been under discussion since 2009), secondly most of the development is in an area designated as ‘Strategic Gap’ and thirdly a good portion of the land is also designated ‘Flood Risk Area’.

Would our ‘professional’ planners really allow housing or any development in an area that they are clearly aware is liable to flood and where future owners could not get insurance? Surely that would be absolutely crass.

We already have significant developments at Southwater, Broadbridge Heath and between Faygate and Bewbush yet our councillors feel this is needed?

I know they will hide behind ‘don’t blame us - this is forced on us by Government’. If that is true why do we pay these people at all as they clearly can do nothing for us?

They need to stand up now and be counted or do the decent thing and step down as this development only serves the developer, the land owners and, dare I say it, the council, none of whom live in or near the area they will destroy. Nor is there consideration for the quiet enjoyment of the few residents who currently have homes in the middle of this proposed development.

This is not NIMBYism on my part as I live a few miles from the proposed development. I am just a seriously disillusioned and disappointed resident of what used to be a beautiful town.

If I wanted to live in Crawley that is where I would have bought a home.

DAVID MADDEN

Bunting Close, Horsham