Access concerns over Rudgwick gypsy site plan

The A281 Guildford Road east of Rudgwick where the Smithers Rough site is proposed for gypsy and traveller pitches (photo from Google Maps)

Residents fighting plans for a new gypsy and traveller site in Rudgwick have expressed frustration at a lack of available information.

Horsham District Council’s consultation on a draft site allocations document preferred strategy closes at 5pm tomorrow (Friday January 26).

It allocates a number of gypsy and traveller sites including pitches at Smithers Rough in Rudgwick.

The Rudgwick Action Group has queried why the consultation documents ‘give no information whatsoever about the proposed access’ from the A281.

A Freedom of Information requesting correspondence between HDC and West Sussex County Council on access was refused.

This was because it related to material which is still in the course of completion and unfinished policy documents.

The group believes that options being considered could lead to HDC needing to compulsory purchase land and carry out engineering work to address flooding issues.

A statement from RAG said: “The lack of transparency in the site allocation process for Smithers Rough has given rise to a sense in the local community that HDC is quite simply on a mission to implement this site ‘no matter what’ regardless of road safety, land ownership or cost.

“RAG acknowledges the need for traveller sites in the district, but that cannot justify the council’s apparent tunnel vision in the case of this site, which is plainly unsuitable for development of any type.”

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