LETTER: Ramifications across district

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Horsham District Council’s review of the Horsham District Planning Framework (HDPF) (WSCT 2 Feb 17) has implications, not only for north of Horsham as advised by Dr Richardson in his letter ‘More land for Crawsham’ (WSCT 16 Feb 17), but also for communities across Horsham District.

In his ‘Report to Horsham District Council’ (8 Oct 15), Planning Inspector Salter advised that Horsham District Council (HDC) had ‘specifically requested’ him to ‘recommend any modifications necessary to enable the plan to be adopted’, including ‘an early review’ ‘within three years’, therefore by October 2018, and that the main purpose of this review was to determine how many additional houses would be needed to ‘address the needs of the wider area’, including ‘coastal area authorities’ and ‘possibly London’, and to determine where all of these extra houses would be built as well identifying the sites needed to accommodate the balance of Mr Salter’s imposed interim to-be-increased target of 16,000 houses (800pa).

Large sites identified in the report with the potential, in his view, for future development include land west of Ifield, west of Southwater and east of Billingshurst.

Inspector Salter also advised that the council ‘may wish to review the way medium-sized sites are dealt with as part of the review’ thereby inviting developers to press for yet more development on countryside adjoining villages across the District.

All of this has huge ramifications for the District, with its already creaking infrastructure, which is presumably why councillors chose to ignore the report and its content when they debated the HDPF at their Extraordinary Meeting held 19 November 2015. This omission was most certainly ‘extraordinary’.

Dr R. F. Smith

For Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Sussex (Horsham District), Bashurst Copse, Itchingfield

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