Villagers’ shock at scale of flats building

Laura Crosbie with neighbour Hazel Simpson
Laura Crosbie with neighbour Hazel Simpson

Residents have been left ‘shocked’ at the proximity of a block of flats currently under construction near their homes.

Housing Association Saxon Weald is building a three-storey block of flats on the site of former garages in Sleets Road, Broadbridge Heath.

But nearby residents say they have been left ‘living in a goldfish bowl’ with the flats overlooking their gardens. Construction is due to be completed later this year.

Laura Crosbie, who lives in nearby Heath Close, said that she and her neighbours were upset about the building. “It’s just shocking that they have been allowed to build something which looks straight into other people’s gardens,” she said.

“It’s a massive block of flats with massive windows staring straight into our gardens.”

She also hit out at the way planning consent was granted for the flats and said that a number of residents were not made aware of the Saxon Weald application before it went before Horsham District Council.

She said she had not realised that it was on a planning committee agenda until her father - Horsham district councillor Leonard Crosbie - told her about it.

She was also upset to discover that the Saxon Weald flats were destined to be sold at ‘market value’ rather than being homes for people in need.

“It’s a double whammy to find out that this is not affordable housing, but is for ‘market rent’. We’re not doing anything to help people get on the property ladder and have a home of their own.”

A spokesman for Saxon Weald said: “The redevelopment of the former garages sites on Sleets Road and Swann Way is being undertaken in line with the planning approvals granted by Horsham District Council in May 2017.

“A public consultation event was held in May 2016 and a planning application was submitted in December 2016.

“We believe that Horsham District Council followed their normal procedure of inviting comments from the public and neighbours as part of the planning process. A letter was sent to adjoining neighbours in May 2017 advising them that works would be starting in September 2017. The two sites each comprise of 9 flats, with Swann Way being Affordable Rent, and Sleets Road being Market Rent.”