Letters: New housing

HOW MANY new homes can Horsham (our historic market town) and the surrounding areas support at this present time?

During this period of austerity there are cuts to the services for the entire infrastructure, hospitals, doctors, dentists, education, police, local government services etc. We cannot continue to keep building homes and bringing more people to the area when we cannot support this growth at the moment.

East Surrey Hospital at Redhill, in particular, regularly sends patients home who have arrived for scheduled operations because there are not enough beds. Until there are firm commitments for additional services to meet the increase in population, we should be seriously considering how much house growth to approve at the present time.

The plans say nothing about how much housing is needed to address this country’s immigration problems, an issue that should be being addressed at a government level. It cannot be right for all this development to our green fields to be approved to house a high percentage of immigrants.

This is not a racist comment, it is a genuine concern that I know is being expressed by many concerned citizens. Natural growth is accepted, of course it is, but what is not acceptable is to lose our countryside because we cannot control our borders.

The plans also talk about job growth. What area would that be in? I am sure there would be temporary job growth for people in the building trade but after they are built, how are we going to hope to employ all these people when we can’t employ all our locals now, especially our younger generation?

Any talk of new housing should be being discussed in parallel with how we are going to fund the infrastructure to support it, NHS, schools, local government services, roads, car parks, etc.

Let’s not forget that Crawley too is expanding. For example, look at the number of new houses planned at Faygate. They too will be directed to the A&E at East Surrey Hospital.

Individual groups are forming to oppose separate planning proposals. What we need, I feel, is a collective body of people to represent the entire county and express our concerns as one voice to Horsham District Council, which another reader aptly named as the ‘Horsham Development Company’.

Some common sense needs to be applied so that growth can be planned appropriately.

STEVEN MUCKLESTONE

Brook Road, Horsham