LETTERS: Outrageous and destructive

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I object to the proposed development in North Horsham. Amongst many reasons to object, already mentioned, I bring to your attention the below from HDC minutes of the 25th July, when this entirely unsubstantiated, outrageous and destructive proposal to demolish our remaining greenbelt and merge Horsham and Crawley was pushed into a six-week consultation (additional two weeks granted due to this being over summer holidays, but hardly of use, as the entire time is so obviously insufficient for consideration a 500,000ft business park, crematoria, supermarket, schools, train station, underpasses or traffic lights or bridges at A264, park and ride, car parks, and 2,500 or more houses on this strategically important site).

Mrs Vickers states as her reason for moving the preferred site from the proposal in Southwater, deliverable for 2,750 homes, the school needed for the area, new sports hall and parkland as: ‘…at Southwater, the new strategy moved the development of around 500 homes away from the most sensitive areas such as the grade II* listed farm house and minimised the impact on the working farm…’. There were no mentions at this meeting of sensitive areas of North Horsham site.

I note that North Horsham greenbelt contains areas of archaeological interest and ancient woodland: The English Heritage Motte and bailey castle north of Chennells Brook, scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as ‘...of national importance’.

I am eager to know how this monument, that includes the earthworks of a motte and bailey castle dating from the Norman period, will be preserved, given that even a Grade II listed farm is a concern for development in its vicinity?

This site also contains a substantial floodplain, the issues arising from developing so near it are unknown. Perhaps destroying the natural drainage there could cause flooding to North Horsham, Old Holbrook, Roffey and other areas?!

This site includes also Ancient woodland at Castle Copse. WSCC states in the latest Revision on the Ancient Woodland Inventory that a survey will ‘provide a robust evidence base for planners and other decision makers, helping to identify threats to this vulnerable resource’. I believe a threat has been identified- HDC, Cllrs Vickers, Dawe, Rae and other supporters of this proposal!

The reasoning is incomprehensible, contradictory and irresponsible. Protect any impact to a Grade II listed farm, to the extent of destroying a contained historic market town and heritage landscape, destroying our potential for tourism and leisure, school catchments and train services, and yet to put at risk an Ancient woodland and Archaeological Area of National importance?

ADAM SMITH

Blatchford Close, Horsham