Mr Crowley, Chief Executive of Horsham District Council (HDC), in his letter (17.9.15, p34) states ‘there is no truth in the assertion that information has been withheld’.
He was referring to my letter (10.9.15) explaining how I still did not have the information setting out a breakdown of the 7,000 planning permissions granted by Cllr Vickers’ planning department over recent years, but still not built by developers.
The record needs to be set out given the important context of the culture that manifests itself at HDC – secrecy; poor response to Freedom of Information requests where as many as 15 per cent of FoIs are not responded to within the council’s own 20 day target; keeping the public in the dark, lack of proper consultation and even ‘parsimonious with the verité/ actualité’.
The important point here is what is the make-up of the 7,000 permissions – a fact given in public to the Planning Inspector.
Mr Crowley, in his letter to you September 10, said, ‘More detailed information has subsequently been provided to Dr Richardson’.
I have received nothing since the initial reply of August 18.
An FoI has now been submitted to HDC requesting answers to the following: ‘1. A list setting out the 7,000 applications broken down to show each site and for each site (a) the date planning permission was granted (with planning reference number) (b) for how many houses on each site permission was granted for (c) what efforts by Horsham District Council have been brought to bear upon the developers to build the houses that have been permitted on these sites?’
Of course all this obscures the real point of this episode – the management style of the council.
When it comes to being open with the public – the council appears not to know how.
Dr GEOFFREY RICHARDSON
Tennyson Close, Horsham
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