LETTER: Simple choice on a new school

Your letters
Your letters

I read Dr Thwaites’ letter ‘No mystery, no conspiracy’ in your February 6 edition and my immediate reaction was ‘Oh really?’.

He claims that Dr Richardson’s letter (WSCT 30.1.14) is based upon incorrect information. ‘Oh really?’. The evidence in Dr Richardson’s letter was from a very detailed response from West Sussex County Council to an FoI request. In an email (dated 17/4/12) from the Director of Learning at WSCC, David Sword, states apropos Southwater: “The data clearly shows that the projected increase in secondary school pupil numbers can be contained within the existing secondary schools, with some investment in additional classroom space, up until 2015. At some stage after 2015, a new school will be needed [in Southwater].”

Perhaps Dr Thwaites, who lives in Southwater, could explain how when councillor Vickers (Con, Southwater) took over control of the Draft Preferred Strategy she arranged for the bulk of the houses the previous draft had located in Southwater plus the school to be moved to a green field site in North Horsham.

Perhaps Dr Thwaites would publicly give us his views about what appears a simple choice: build 2,500 houses plus a school in an orphan community on greenfields north of Horsham and continue to bus 640-plus children from Southwater to Horsham at an annual cost to ratepayers of £250k, (and rising) prompting a change in the north Horsham school catchment areas); or, build [1,500?] houses plus a school in a settled community on greenfields in Southwater and save £250k per annum (not to mention travelling time) in bussing children to Horsham.

TONY HOGBEN

Old Holbrook, Horsham