Honest debate rather than entrenched views

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AS WE now know the cabinet of Horsham District Council has accepted leader Robert Nye`s advice and voted to reject the Interim Statement and to ask the full council to ratify this decision in September.

At the cabinet meeting it was obvious that despite all our efforts, in private and in public, to make clear the position of Keep Southwater Green and the village population, a number of councillors still labour under the same misapprehensions as Mr Spurrier (County Times July 21).

They say, as he does, that people do not understand what no planned development will mean. We do and always have understood quite clearly what was involved.

We argued against the wording of the consultation document because it left anyone opposed to large scale development no choice but to vote for Option One; any other vote would have meant the acceptance of development to the west of Worthing Road.

An option in favour of multiple small scale but planned development with an emphasis on affordable houses would have gained widespread support but we could not get them to consider this.

Secondly both Mr Spurrier and the councillors seem not to understand that all development, whether formally planned or not, brings in a fixed percentage of money for local use including infrastructure projects. There is therefore no loss to the community because a development in not initially ‘planned’ and the normal planning process can and does retain control.

Third they both say that the same number of houses will be built anyhow. This is totally untrue. Without an Interim Statement Horsham has to fall back on existing legislation and this does not allow large scale development adjoining villages such as Southwater.

Therefore the whole policy has to be reviewed and a new Core Strategy Document, already being actively prepared, will take a wider view and may change the policy to multiple smaller developments being planned where a clear advantage to a community can result without it being overwhelmed by vast numbers.

Let us have some clarity and some honest debate rather than continuing with entrenched views and a system that may have produced benefit in a boom period but is much less convincing now that we are bust.


Keep Southwater Green

Marlhurst, Southwater