Letter: Open season on green sites

I WAS shocked and absolutely appalled to read of Crickmay Chartered Surveyors’ plan to build on 800 acres of lovely countryside north of the Horsham bypass.

Development on this scale is far in excess of that allocated in the County Plan. The fact that this firm had been planning its campaign in secret for two years, probably liaising with local landowners, just makes me seethe.

I was born and brought up in Horsham, but I moved out 30 years ago, because even then I thought the area had become very over-developed, in particular around Roffey where I lived. Roffey has lost all identity now, having become part of ‘North Horsham’.

I agree with two correspondents, Richard Terry and Fred Briggio. Mr Terry mentions acres of land in other parts of the country, areas with little beauty or wildlife. To that I will remind you of the unoccupied rundown parts of some cities and large towns, ripe for redevelopment.

We are so fortunate to live in a beautiful county like West Sussex, how can we just let it go under?

Suggestions of a new hospital, leisure centre, et al, are just bribes to sweeten the pill that is this monstrous scheme.

Horsham and Crawley hospitals have served the area well for decades, but each has suffered ward closures and other cutbacks. Horsham Hospital should not be closed down in favour of a replacement in this ‘new land’ - this would probably be private anyway!

Mr Briggio reminds us that when the Horsham northern bypass was completed the council formally stated that this would be the northern boundary of Horsham and nothing more would be built. This usually happens with a bypass.

If this project should come to fruition, this vast site need not be called a part of Horsham at all, the new community could have a name of its own, though I will resist making any suggestions!

The sly passage of this scheme suggests its proponents expect a lot of opposition, and this is what they should get!

It is up to everyone who feels affection for West Sussex and indeed, fine countryside anywhere, to make their feelings known in the right quarters, now.

Despite deserting Horsham for an extremely pleasant, attractive and friendly village, a little of my heart remains with my home town.

If this large tract of land is lost it will signal ‘open season’ to other potential developers, and we may find bricks, mortar and Tarmac swallowing up what remains of our local rural heritage.

ALLAN SMITH

Beech Grove, Storrington