LETTER: Region is seriously overcrowded

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I wish to raise objection in the strongest possible terms to the proposed plans for land north of the A264 at North Horsham.

Many objections have already been lodged and set out in great detail the reasons why, all of which I am in agreement with and thus do not intend to repeat them here.

The history (or lack of it) of how we have suddenly arrived at this position is also well known. In any other comparable situation Councillor Vickers would have removed herself from involvement in the decision making process as there is a clear conflict of interest between her own area v. North Horsham – perhaps we have grown used to expecting too much from our elected representatives.

I would mention a number of salient points (in no particular order of importance):

The area will be ruined by such a massive development, it is not required here.

We do not have the necessary infrastructure to support this level of expansion.

The South East is already seriously short of water supplies – how will this problem be solved?

We do not have enough local employment to sustain the extra population; talk of industrial expansion is just that – talk. Have the councillors not noticed a cutback by employers / jobs in the area, e.g. RSA, Novartis, etc? Even Draft Policy 14 refers to existing businesses relocating in the area, so no jobs gain there then.

Clearly the plan to include a new rail station demonstrates the need to transport people out of the area for work. This will not work anyway as there is no provision for more trains – the system is full.

There is and continues to be a vast house building programme in the area; resources will already be overstretched.

There are not enough hospital and medical facilities in the area. We already have long journeys to reach a major hospital and they are currently overstretched in any event. We have a shortage of doctors and nurses so any new medical centre facilities that could be introduced cannot be staffed. The latest survey published only this week shows the NHS as being 10 per cent under resourced in A&E staff across the board – they are not available.

There are numerous brown field sites that can be developed first.

Roads will become even more congested.

Most of the proposals are environmentally ‘unfriendly’.

Mention is made of extra school(s); how will these be staffed? Currently government information shows a 25 per cent shortage in education resources thus buildings from a developer are one thing, finding teachers is something else.

How will these houses be sold bearing in mind the 2nd Runway for Gatwick which will happen and directly impact on the area in question - It is when not if! Has the council taken account of this?

Developers will have to maximise dwelling numbers to secure a return for the ‘freebies’, schools, road crossings, etc., resulting in the sort of overcrowded estates we are already seeing at Broadbridge Heath – try to imagine just what these will be like in 20 to 30 years’ time.

The HDC Plan sets out certain strategic objectives (Section 3.11, 1 to 13) none of which can be considered to be met by the current proposals.

It is good to see the council has its eye on the ball and includes for a new crematorium – if the plan goes ahead we might need it sooner rather than later!

There are many areas of the country that need additional housing and places that will have a better chance of being able to accommodate same. The south east is seriously overcrowded so this is not the place for more. Local councillors are elected to look after the best interests and to represent the views of their electorate and now is the time for our representatives to stand up to central government and show they can make the case in our interests and not some other agenda. For this level of further massive development to go ahead we will see the market town of Horsham and the surrounding area totally lose its identity and very fabric. In my view and, I would suggest, that of the vast majority, this must be stopped now.

F. LANE

Wren Close, Horsham