5,000 more new homes planned for Horsham

Kingsfold Development.Green fields around Kingsfold hamlet are under threat of development. Kingsfold, Horsham. Picture : Liz Pearce. LP200914KD02 SUS-140920-192743008
Kingsfold Development.Green fields around Kingsfold hamlet are under threat of development. Kingsfold, Horsham. Picture : Liz Pearce. LP200914KD02 SUS-140920-192743008

A new 5,000 home settlement between Horsham and Capel has been proposed by developers.

The cluster of villages on land east of the A24 would centre on Kingsfold and stretch from the A264 near Warnham to just south of the Clark’s Green roundabout.

While 5,000 plus homes are being proposed it could ‘also establish a direction of future growth’ for up to 10,000 homes.

As part of the plans the A24 would be significantly upgraded, as would Warnham Railway Station, while the scheme would also allocate land for employment space, a retail hub, and a park and ride facility next to the station.

The scheme has been mooted in response to Horsham District Council’s planning framework earlier this year, but only came to light as the authority prepares for a series of public examination hearings on its housing plan.

In its submission agent Maddox and Associates, acting on behalf of one of the major landowners in the ‘Boldings Green’ proposed development area, said: “These representations seek the allocation of 703 hectares of land for approximately 5,000 new homes and the provision of associated facilities and infrastructure to create, in the long term, a new settlement interrelated and connected new villages along the Boldings Brook valley.

“The representations conclude that the draft plan does not meet the full objectively assessed housing needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area.

“The representations also conclude that the plan is not sound as the council has not assessed Boldings Green as a reasonable alternative and not fulfilled its duty to cooperate obligations.”

HDC’s Horsham District Planning Framework, which has been sent to the Planning Inspectorate for examination, includes North Horsham as a strategic site for 2,500 homes and a new business park immediately north of the A264.

The examination hearings, to be conducted in public, are set to begin in November.

However Liberty Property Trust’s proposals have attracted widespread opposition from groups and individuals in and around the town, with readers bombarding the County Times with letters since last July.

The submission suggests the Boldings Green development could be brought forward as an alternative to the North Horsham scheme, rather than as well as it.

It reads: “We believe that our scheme, supported by national housebuilders, is a credible and reasonable alternative option and that the most appropriate way forward would be for the council to reconsider its strategy in the draft local plan to enable it to meet its full objectively assessed needs and to make significant contributions to existing and future infrastructure constraints whilst protecting the character of existing settlements and avoiding the threat of coalescence of Horsham and Crawley.”

Maddox and Associates are acting for Mr and Mrs Fisher, who own more than 121 of the 703-hectare development area, while the submission is supported by Bloombridge Development Partners and Persimmon.

Around a quarter of the area is in the Mole Valley district, with the rest in the Horsham district.

What do you think of proposals? Email the newsdesk, comment below, or write to Editorial, County Times, Springfield House, Springfield Road, Horsham, RH12 2RG.