LETTER: No demand for industrial estate

Your letters
Your letters

I object to the outrageous proposal for the greenfields north of Horsham to be used for an industrial estate of enormous proportions.

The only interest in renting any part of the proposed 500,000 sq ft here is from an employer who is already in Horsham and would consider relocating there, amalgamating their office and manufacturing premises and thus creating an equivalent amount of empty office/commercial space elsewhere - in Horsham!

There is no interest from any large company to enter the area, even much better located industrial estates, such as the Constellation business park, are empty!

I object to the ill-conceived nonsense premise that Horsham, a town that has never had an industrial presence, due to being unsuitably located, would beat the worldwide economic conditions, which have already caused most, if not all large companies and manufacturers in UK to leave for abroad (lower taxes and lower wages elsewhere!) and attract to our area the likes of call centres and manufactures capable of occupying 500,000 sq ft. Rolls Royce only needs 30,000ft for all their operations. Why would Horsham need 500,000 sq ft – to rent to whom?

Even our own Novartis has reduced here, that is not because there simply wasn’t a big enough building for their needs. Novartis radically reduced their operations here because of world economic conditions.

This proposal is utter nonsense. An industrial estate here is of no interest to residents. Claire Vickers, the originator of this detrimental and absurd proposal which will destroy our town along with Rusper, Colgate, Faygate and Warnham, insists that eligibility for 50 per cent of business rates from rents on this estate will significantly help our economy.

This small perk is only if the units are rented and only for the first seven years. After that, this empty industrial wasteland is a liability for our town – there will not even be money to keep this area clean!

It is one thing to propose housing; it is another thing to propose a ludicrous wastage of precious, strategically important greenfield land. This proposal is not only absurd from an economic point of view, but outrageously irresponsible.

How can we allow the destruction of these fields, not even for housing, but to waste on an industrial estate?

Mrs Vickers calls for the destruction of the remaining greenfields here, for the obliteration of the Strategic Gap between Horsham and Crawley and the loss of identity of two towns, for threat to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the jewel of Sussex),for chaos on the A24, impossible congestion and chaos also at Littlehaven station for no apparent purpose at all.

This incompetent proposal must be halted in its tracks, or it is the end of Horsham as we know it. The greenfields north of the A264 are not suitable for wastage on an industrial estate, and all else, including, potentially, a crematorium, because of the specific meaning and value of this land and the chaos that this would bring upon North Horsham transport, trains and schools.

If this proposal is approved, North Horsham and Roffey residents will lose their catchment area eligibility for Millais and Forest schools. You can use this link to object: http://www.horsham.gov.uk/environment/planning_policy/14379.aspx

I. ROHVARGER, BES, (Urban Planning and Architecture), B. Arch. (1995)

Pondtail Road, Horsham