LETTER: Plan jeopardises neighbourhoods

Your letters
Your letters

I object to the proposal to develop North Horsham as part of Horsham District Council’s Preferred Strategy.

Horsham town centre could not cope with the influx of cars and pedestrians and totally lose its identity as a small village type of community.

There is no reason to build here, the site is riddled with problems.

North Horsham site (Greenfield lands adjacent to the A264) is a poor option amongst many suitable sites and is land which should not be developed until all the other alternative sites in the district have been occupied to full capacity along with HDC-owned lands.

The predecessors of the current members of HDC made a pledge that the A264 will be the northern boundary of Horsham, at the time of its construction, and that the land above will be the Strategic Gap separating Horsham and Crawley and allowing each town to have a unique identity. Residents expect this pledge to be kept.

Intelligent town planning is at the heart of good economy, good environment, safe town, low crime rate, functioning social environment and community.

This proposal makes no sense economically, socially or in terms of town planning and architecture, and would wreak havoc upon the lives of residents with movement of catchment lines, disruption of train services, congestion on roads, as well as jeopardise neighbourhoods with the presence of underpasses which are an obvious convenient shelter for crime and are a danger for any residential area.

The proposal ignores an unremarkable brownfield site in the midst of a modern village, destined for growth, and unprofitable but hugely valuable HDC-owned lands and areas inside the town boundary/bypass in favour of building on a hugely problematic site outside the town bypass, along with derelict sites in prime town locations.

Mrs Vickers cites “reducing carbon footprint – people want to live near their work places (in this case, an industrial estate which is highly likely to stand empty?) as reason for this proposal. People do not want to live near an industrial wasteland. People want to live in pleasant communities with functioning transport links and roads. This site and proposal do not create a good place to live, and bad places to live quickly become rife with social problems.

THE CONSULTATION: This proposal is not a consultation with residents, as the alternatives have not been included. We have been presented with only one option; however, there are numerous better alternatives, which have been suddenly thrown out of consideration.

This proposal was released in August, when many people are away and unable to object. Only two additional weeks were granted for receipt of objections to a scheme which changes our town forever. This is not acceptable to residents.

LAND AND TOWN PLANNING: The A264 is the northern most boundary of Horsham; this was a pledge to residents given by HDC at the time of its construction, by Martin Pearson’s Council. Residents expect this pledge to be honoured.

North Horsham site is isolated from the town by the A264. This alone makes it unsuitable for residential development, as it is proposed to link this site to the town via underpasses, which is the only possible interpretation of “pedestrian and cycle links” over the wide carriage way. It would make an isolated suburb, but we have other, much better located sites, which are already within reach of nearby amenities and do not require underpasses. Underpasses are unacceptable to local residential communities – we do not want places that we are afraid to enter and crime on our currently safe streets.

Choosing this site as “preferred” option will radically change the character and appeal of Horsham and life in nearby villages.

This site is accessed via the A264, which is already congested and will only be more so, to the extent which HDC and local residents have not yet experienced, as housing being built on the A264 and A24 is not yet occupied. There is no proof that the A264, pooling increasing traffic from developments on the A24 and A264 will even function adequately to provide access to the A23. Other sites have additional options for access to the A23, this site does not.

This is a strategically important and precious site which should not be wasted on a vast industrial estate for which there are no expressions of business interest and which makes no sense locally.

James Ford

The Castle, Horsham