LETTER: Time to give the elephant a shove

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Try as he might HDC leader Cllr Ray Dawe writing in your paper (WSCT August 21, p21, ‘The great outdoors...’) may well have great difficulty in persuading your readers that the ‘elephant’ has left the room.

The animal in his case is his past history of leading, with his deputy Cllr Helena Croft, the Tory group and particularly the way he pushed through council the flawed plan for the district’s housing and economic needs.

He waxes lyrical about the wonderful outdoors – while being a key figure in the destruction and potential despoliation of hundreds of acres of green land. Not where he lives of course – Cllr Vickers and he have made sure their patch is still the great unspoilt outdoors.

He and his senior colleagues have rolled over to meet the Government’s bidding so far as housing numbers are concerned. As Cllr Roger Arthur wrote (August 21): ‘ Speculative build can be reduced’ following the new Minister Brandon Lewis’ assurance that district targets can be ‘adjusted for economic factors’ – 650 houses pa is utterly unrealistic.

So here is a chance for Cllr Dawe and his deputy Cllr Helena Croft to give the elephant a bit of a shove by saying at the Inspection in the autumn, why 650 houses per annum is a non - starter for the district, why so little brown field land is in the plan and why with a rethink he could change the strategy to preserve more of the ‘great outdoors’ by abandoning his wish to tear up green fields in north Horsham reducing the Strategic Gap (protected by 30 years of past council policies) to Crawley by 15 per cent.

David Shipton

Downsview Road, Horsham