How many new houses do you want?

A RESTRICTED choice is soon to be put to residents of the Horsham district in the name of ‘consultation’, asking if they want nearly 600 new homes to be built each and every year until 2031 - or more than 700.

For the last five, the average has been less than 300 new homes per annum.

Horsham District Council’s strategic planning advisory group (SPAG) met last Thursdsay to discuss a new draft document, Horsham District Planning Framework - How much housing does Horsham District need?

However, attendees revealed they lack confidence in the conclusions of the Locally Generated Needs Study it is based on.

They also said they fail to see that 590 or 730 homes per year, or indeed somewhere in between, is a real choice.

The document was criticised too for lacking clarity in terms of the various choices it does give, and for the time proposed for residents to comment.

The framework sets out four options:

A - 11,800 homes (590 per annum). Approximate number already identified: 6,300. Remaining requirement: 5,500

B - 12,700 (635 per annum). Remaining requirement: 6,400.

C - 13,400 (670 per annum). Remaining requirement: 7,100

D - 14,600 ‘plus’ (730 ‘plus’ per annum). Remaining requirement: 8,300 ‘plus’.

The document asks: “What level of housing do you think Horsham District should plan for over 2011 to 2013? (please select one option)

“Why do you think this level is appropriate for Horsham District?”

The issue is due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet on Thursday January 26.

Find out more in this week’s County Times.