LETTER: Costs of work for North Horsham build

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Your letters

Residents who are concerned about the impact of the North Horsham strategic site on the A24 and why Liberty are not being asked to pay any community infrastructure levy (CIL) contributions by Horsham District Council (HDC) will be interested in this report from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) on the internet (www.coast2capital.org.uk/images/141210_FundingApp_WoH_Final.pdf).

This hyperlink was helpfully sent to me by Mole Valley District Council following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request.

Strange how some councils are much more willing to make information available to the public through FoIs than the much more secretive Horsham District Council.

The Coast to Capital Report states: ‘The Great Daux Roundabout and Robin Hood Roundabout schemes are linked to the delivery of the 2,500 home North of Horsham development. Both junctions are located on the strategic A24 and both currently experience congestion and delay. The Horsham District Transport Study which assessed the impact of forecast strategic development and background traffic growth up to 2031 concluded that both junctions would require mitigation. At Great Daux, additional entry lanes and signal control on all approaches are proposed whilst at Robin Hood, two additional entry lanes and signal control are proposed on the A24 and Warnham Road approaches.’

In respect of costs for improvements to the Great Daux roundabout the report states that: ‘£653,100 (75 per cent) of the funds required for the scheme is being sort from the C2C LEP via the C2C LTB. The remaining £217,700 (25 per cent) will be provided through Section 106 developer contributions.’

And in respect of the costs of improvements to the Robin Hood roundabout ‘£480,281 (75 per cent) of the funds required for the scheme is being sort from the C2C LEP via the C2C LTB. The remaining £160,093 (25 per cent) will be provided through Section 106 developer contributions.’

It appears that Liberty is only being asked to pay 25 per cent of the costs of these needed improvements to these roundabouts (due to their 2,700 homes in the Strategic Gap) through s106 contributions and so are being let off lightly since HDC and WSCC are hoping that the rest is coming from this government LEP (i.e. a QUANGO).

If Liberty is not having to pay significantly for the costs of the road upgrades then why has their CIL contribution been assessed at zero?

When the CIL charging schedule is put before councillors to vote upon, councillors need to ask deep questions of their chief planner, Cllr Vickers, as to why Liberty are paying zero CIL on the excuse of high infrastructure costs when we see that the council is bidding for government grants for 75 per cent of the construction costs thus lightening the load on Liberty.

Dr GEOFFREY RICHARDSON

Tennyson Close, Horsham

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