Village rat run fears remain as infrastructure works approved

Fears over rat running in Warnham are still top of the agenda, even as the council dismissed such concerns on Tuesday this week.

Horsham District Council’s development control north committee unanimously approved the second phase of infrastructure for the 963-home Countryside Properties site south of Broadbridge Heath.

However Warnham Parish Council raised the spectre of even more rat-running through their village because of changes to the road layout, and called for the application to be rejected until proper traffic management measures are agreed by the developer as part of its proposals.

Malcolm Curnock (LDem, Broadbridge Heath), said it was dangerous to go ahead with traffic calming measures to Warnham, without looking at how it would affect Broadbridge Heath and other villages and roads.

In reply Stuart Ritchie (Con, Itchingfield, Slinfold and Warnham) said: “Warnham feels very hard done by, by the whole development.

“I think trying to get further advantage for Broadbridge Heath against Warnham strikes me as an unfair request at this stage.”

In the officer’s report Warnham Parish Council pointed out that HDC’s masterplan said that development should include measures to minimise rat-running in Slinfold and Warnham.

It added: “The developers have not addressed this issue, have not consulted with Warnham Parish Council on the matter, nor proposed measures to control the likely traffic increases in Warnham.”

Mr Curnock added: “Traffic calming measures need to be looked at in total not just in isolated little packages, because that to me is dangerous.”

Leonard Crosbie (LDem, Trafalgar) said: “There’s no doubt in my mind, commuter traffic, if they see it’s not working, will shoot straight down to Warnham.

“Warnham has problems now, God knows what it will be like.”

While the majority of questions by Mr Curnock had been answered by planners before the meeting, he put forward four extra points.

In an exchange with head of planning Hilary Coplestone, David Holmes (LDem, Horsham Park) said: “I would like to see these issues being taken seriously.

“We should be grateful he had four points. Out of respect we should do what we can to see they are considered further.”

The officer said that traffic management was being actively looked at.