LETTER: How will shortfall be covered?

I wonder how many people, HDC councillors included, have seen a report by NCS (available at www.horsham.gov.uk/environment/planning_policy/documents/CIL-ViabilityAssessment.pdf) which concluded that the costs of the North of Horsham site-specific infrastructure and mitigation requirements would be significantly higher than anywhere else in the district - including Southwater which was mentioned specifically.

Tuesday, 8th July 2014, 11:16 am
Your letters

The report also states ‘The viability appraisals also illustrated that many categories of commercial development are not viable in current market circumstances, which is evident by lack of activity in these sectors’.

Considering there is so much opposition to the North of Horsham development, someone unaware of the machinations in HDC might think the report would stop the North of Horsham development proposal in its tracks. Not a bit.

At www.horsham.gov.uk/environment/planning_policy/documents/CIL-PreliminaryDraftChargingSchedule.pdf I read that HDC has accepted the consultant’s conclusion that a Community Infrastructure Levy of £125 per sq. metre is an appropriate charge for developments across the entire Horsham District of 130,000 acres EXCEPT for the proposed North of Horsham development site of 800 acres, where the developer would be charged only £50 per sq metre - a reduction of £11,663,475. What a Liberty!

You might think that Cllr Rae, with all his financial expertise and keenness to increase HDC revenues, would have protested. No, on the contrary, he didn’t tell his electorate and voted for this as part of the North Horsham development.

You might think that as HDC has £700,000 to waste Disneyfying West Street they have plenty of spare money. You would be wrong. HDC has stated ‘there is a justifiable [but unjustified] funding gap between contributions and the delivery of infrastructure’ amounting to shortfall of £10,295,024. How will that shortfall be covered? Either by a £10.3m reduction in services or an increase in rates - equivalent to £78 for each and every man, woman and child in the district.

The whole thing beggars belief. I certainly will not make the mistake for voting for this lot again - ever.

C Morris

Tennyson Close, Horsham