A number of Horsham residents have ‘suffered torment’ during the construction of 33 new homes, according to councillors.
Horsham District Council gave permission for the development, north of Ringley Road off Parsonage Road, back in February 2014 with a condition routing construction traffic through the neighbouring Parsonage Farm.
But developers had not been able to come to an agreement with the owners of Parsonage Farm to continue using their land to access the site, and applied to HDC to remove a condition which would allow them to use Ringley Road instead.
Jonathan Dancer (Con, Roffey North) explained that residents had decided not to turn up to the Development Control North Committee meeting on Tuesday night because they believed it is a ‘farce, a waste of public money, and irrelevant’.
Mr Dancer said they had ‘suffered torment’ from both construction traffic using Ringley Road as well as sewage works and added: “It has been a truly traumatic for them.”
He originally proposed councillors refuse the application, but officers explained that approving it would allow the council to place an additional condition requiring a construction environmental management plan, which would control the number, frequency, and type of vehicles visiting the site.
Mr Dancer replied: “So we are not lifting condition four but exchanging condition four for condition three?
“It’s more embracing, and more enforceable and I hope it will provide some protection for residents.”
He asked if repair works could be undertaken on the road as after the sewer was laid in Ringley Road it had been backfilled with ‘what looks like a chunk of Brighton beach, some hard core and a bit of cement’. He added: “They [residents] would like a decent road.”
Alan Britten (Con, Roffey North) said it had been a quiet road until ‘these mammoth vehicles came along’, and added: “They [the residents] feel with some justification they have been misled.”
David Skipp (LDem, Horsham Park), who represented the area until May 2015, said: “As a council we have been betrayed cynically by what I would say is the developer and probably the landowner as well. I feel very aggrieved.
“I think it’s appalling they can get away with it.”
Meanwhile residents felt their road had been ‘despoiled by this traffic’.
Matthew French (Con, Broadbridge Heath) asked if the new condition was enforced, but suggested that in turning down the application would be ‘cutting off their nose to spite their face’.
Andrew Baldwin (Con, Holbrook East) added: “Clearly this is a mess. The developer needs to be penalised. I do not see how they can get away wit it but we have to be pragmatic and reasonable.”
Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater), HDC’s cabinet member for planning and development, added: “It’s unfortunate for the residents of Ringley Road, but by refusing this condition we are not going to stop the rest of the development from happening.”
Neither the developer nor an agent for the application spoke at the meeting.
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