LETTER: ‘Viability’ is key to dire situation

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So how’s the deal coming along between Horsham District Council and the prospective North of Horsham Developer, Liberty Property Trust, and their ‘masterplan’ for 2,750 new homes etc in the strategic Horsham/Crawley gap, north of the A264?

Well, despite the secrecy, here is what we know so far.

Affordable Homes: 18 per cent of units against an HDPF policy requirement of 35 per cent - Reason, viability issues.

S106 Obligations for Education: £4.5m shortfall – Reason, viability issues.

S106 Obligations for Fire and Rescue: £250,000 shortfall - Reason, viability issues.

S106 Obligations for Police: £300,000 shortfall – Reason, viability issues.

S106 Obligations for Bus Service: £1m shortfall – Reason, viability issues.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to pay for wider (off site) community infrastructure: NIL contribution (so over £26m ‘lost’ as zero rated) – Reason, viability issues.

There may well be more shortfalls currently unknown to us (eg, new Healthcare Centre needs £1.7m funding).

Clearly therefore, understanding the Viability (or rather lack of it!) is paramount to the community ‘accepting’ this apparently dire situation.

But sorry, you aren’t officially allowed to see these figures as they are considered ‘commercially sensitive’, with such planning documents heavily redacted!

Never mind, hopefully the lessons of the last bungled major deals between HDC and the West of Horsham developers have been learnt (remember the £15m infrastructure black hole there)… or have they?

Paul Kornycky

Cox Green, Rudgwick

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