LETTER: Preparing case for Inspector

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Residents who submitted a response to HDC’s consultation about its proposed housing plans for the district will have received a communication from the Inspector Mr Geoff Salter who will conduct the Examination in Public (EiP).

Many respondents will have ticked the box asking whether they wished to speak to the Inspector at the EiP. Perhaps those residents who did should now be thinking about whether you wish to speak or if your response limited by Cllr Vickers to just 200 or 100 words (though not for developers, agencies or other councils) is sufficient.

If your original response is sufficient and you don’t wish to speak to Mr Salter, you need to confirm this with the ‘Programme Officer’ (Mrs Jones-Hughes: 01273 381518, or bankssolutionsuk@gmail.com) by Friday, 10 October (para 18 of Inspector’s letter).

If you intend to speak it is important you read carefully the Inspector’s letter particularly paras 13-16 and para 21.

Mr Salter’s task is to judge the ‘soundness’ of Cllr Vickers’ 20 year housing plan in terms of the criteria set out in the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF): positively prepared, justified, effective, consistent with national policy.

He wants a two-way discussion with those that wish to meet him about an issue or issues raised in residents’ responses that will go into greater depth than residents were allowed.

He does not want residents to read out what they originally submitted, or to read out a new statement and he suggests that where groups might each say the same thing – a spokesperson should be nominated.

None of this should put any resident off if you wish to speak to Mr Salter. It is not an adversarial situation – he wants a: ‘relaxed and informal discussion led by me’. I suggest now is the time to be thinking about this in good time before the 4 November start date.

Dr GEOFFREY RICHARDSON

Tennyson Close, Horsham