Nik Butler: Could North Horsham plans be an exercise in misdirection?

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In JB Bobos book on Modern Coin Magic emphasis is given to the need for flare and presentation to distract an audience through misdirection performed before their watching gaze.

Which is why when I look to the conflated public spectacle of development in North Horsham I begin to wonder if we are not being distracted by a presentation which directs us away from some careful manipulation being carried out before the crowd.

It goes with my cynical nature that when trauma occurs and individuals run up the emotional flags I want to dig a little deeper to see if there is something else occurring.

I have not seen much in the way of contribution from the Liberal Democrats but I am interested in the perceptions of the public towards those who are actively for or against those plans.

Take a moment to step back and you realise that no matter what occurs on the other side of the A264, these plans begin to look more like the political third rail.

Those who are vocal in their disapproval are unlikely to lack additional support from their party in the 2015 elections.

Those who are in support are likely to be pariahs no matter the outcome and this will not affect the local cabinet positions.

The situation has the smell of scripted teleplay. As if we are living through a badly written political drama.

Whilst all the circus and outrage is generated the news of Littlehaven Station raises its head to barely a bump of conversation.

A few more houses will soon be backed onto by a platform and the incentive for many more cars to locate commuter parking will grow.

Yet this seems to pale in the light of ‘this generation’s biggest local decision’. So where to begin? How do we search out the other plans which are as yet undisclosed?

Plans that are currently running out the clock of consultation buried under the weight of discussion and attention. I don’t think we should be surprised when a lesser alternative appears; one that has always been the intention to deliver but which would have met with outrage had it been first to the table.

Some might call this paranoia, or more incorrectly cynicism, I prefer to call it the experience of modern planning and development which should teach us to look past outrage and watch the other hand closely.