Letters in recent weeks have explained what ‘duty to co-operate’ in planning terms means.
The Planning Inspectorate doesn’t consider housing numbers within the boundary of a district, like Horsham, but rather a geographical area – in our case Horsham, Crawley and Mid Sussex.
Correspondents have demonstrated how Cllr Vickers’ planning department took this ‘duty to co-operate’ beyond the nth degree of common sense by writing to local authorities all over the near South East offering help if councils were short of space to meet their housing targets.
In the figure of 800 dwellings per year now enforced on Horsham by the Inspector there is an allocation of hundreds of houses to meet Crawley’s target since it claims Crawley borough boundaries are full.
Imagine my horror when I read Roger Tetlow’s letter (‘Policy not based on wishes of locals’, 2.10.15) in which he stated ‘In Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex of the 25 local planning authorities only two are currently planning to meet
their needs: Horsham and Mid Sussex. Horsham District is also planning to meet the needs of the wider area’.
So why have Cllrs Dawe and Vickers gone in a direction that 24 other councils have rejected?
On what authority did these two authorise letters to neighbouring councils offering district land – green fields no doubt – to meet other councils’ housing needs?
None of this is set out in reports to council and so many other councillors were presumably not party to this decision.
How many letters have these two councillors received from other councils offering to take part of Horsham’s quota?
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