Revised housing plan for Horsham district to be debated by council tonight

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  • Revised housing plan to go before council tonight
  • If agreed a six week period of representation will start next week
  • Cabinet member argues to say ‘No to inspector will not stop development

A revised housing plan with 2,000 more houses than originally proposed is set to be debated by the council tonight (Wednesday March 18).

After an examination hearing on its plan in November Horsham District Council was told by the planning inspector to up its target from 13,000 to at least 15,000 homes up to 2031.

Councillors at Wednesday’s extraordinary Full Council meeting, to be held in public at Park North at 6pm, will be asked to approve main modifications to the planning framework and to agree a six week period of representation on the changes, starting on March 23.

Two new sites totalling around 150 homes are included west of Marringdean Road, Billingshurst, while the plan also now references the possibility of a University of Brighton higher education campus on the former Novartis site.

The plan’s wording has also changed to the provision of ‘at least’ 1,500 homes across the district rather than ‘around’.

Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater), HDC’s cabinet member for living and working communities, has written a letter in this week’s County Times talking about the risks of having no plan in place.

She said: “I do understand the feelings that new housing proposals can stir particularly for those living closest to where developments are proposed. However, to say ‘No’ to the inspector will not stop development and until we have our plan fully agreed by him we do not have the ability to prevent even more housing.”

As well as land for a new secondary school as part of the proposed 2,500 home North of Horsham development a financial contribution towards the six form of entry school will be sought according to revisions of the plan.

HDC has also included a paragraph that reads: “Other measures, to be funded by the developer,that address the impact of the development so as to ensure the continued safe and efficient operation of the strategic and local road networks including outside the district boundary.”

This follows concerns about the impact of the proposed North Horsham development on rural roads in the area, the A24 and A281.