LETTER: Proper process and procedure

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Cllr Jim Rae (Holbrook East) has been publicly inconsistent with his proclamations over North Horsham and building in the Strategic Gap - depending of course whether there was an election for him to win or not.

Cllr Rae wrote on Facebook (April 2013) following the meeting of GPs that killed the dream of a new hospital: ‘…as the GPs have apparently killed any hope of that ‘bribe’ materialising it is possibly a massive relief for the residents of North Horsham… Without a full NHS funded A&E receiving hospital I cannot see how such a huge development (4,500 houses) can be justified - can you?’

But then just 12 weeks later on 4 July 2013 Cllr Rae wrote in this paper in a half page article: ‘I am going to be brave and very reluctantly support a North Horsham Economic Development Scheme.’ In fact so brave he wrote: ‘even if it means the loss of my seat at the next election.’

Of course between the two musings by Cllr Rae during those 12 weeks there was a county council election for Cllr Rae to win so he told residents in Roffey in time for his election on 2 May 2013: ‘Jim is not convinced that North Horsham is the correct site upon which to build 4,000 houses, he believes the demands for housing in the north of the district are already very high and that our infrastructure will not support such numbers.’

But on 30 April 2014 Cllr Rae voted for the plan to go ahead.

The way that some of the district councilors such as Cllr Rae and his gang (Cllrs Dawe, Vickers, Croft, Baldwin) have systematically told us different stories as to why we need to build in North Horsham – will be brought to the attention of the government’s Inspector at the public inquiry this autumn.

The public has been misled during the public consultation and the Inspector needs to consider the behaviour of Horsham District Council (HDC). The likelihood of reputational damage to HDC is real.

What Cllr Rae voted for will be a massive urban extension to Horsham in the ‘Strategic Gap’ and the government Inspector will need a great deal of persuasion to agree that HDC’s housing plan is ‘sound’ – especially as a policy has been in place for 30 years.

The public’s voice will count with the Inspector in the way that it didn’t with the Gang of Four. The Inspector is concerned with ensuring proper process and procedure were followed and the HDCs plan is ‘sound’ in planning law. Cllr Dawe and others just wanted to ensure that there were no houses in the ‘Deep South’.

Please write to HDC before 27 June 2014 or record your comments online (http://horsham.limehouse.co.uk/portal/planning/hdpf_1/hdpf_prop_sub) There is help available in making your response on a new web site www.futurehorsham.info

ANDREW LOBLEY

Wordsworth Place, Horsham