Cllr Vickers, the architect along with Cllrs Ray Dawe, Helena Croft, Jim Rae and Roy Cornell of the Hobson’s choice plan, considered on 20 May 2014 housing and the allocation of industrial and warehouse space in the district said ‘I am pleased our strategy in principle has been approved by the inspector’ (15.01.15).
I can’t find those words or anything like it in the Inspector’s interim report. In legal terms what he did find was that the number of houses per annum to be built in the district over the next 20 years should be increased from 650 p.a. to more than 750. He spent 18 out of 28 paragraphs in his report on that single issue. His reasoning was poor and he never questioned whether 650 p.a. was the right starting point and our feeble council didn’t question it either.
The Inspector also said that Horsham, Southwater and Billingshurst should be where growth is concentrated but he left that to the council to decide which strategic sites are used.
So when Cllr Vickers states that ‘to say the whole plan is unsound is disingenuous’ is wholly wrong. Talk about political spin with just over 100 days to her election!
The plan, in legal terms, is either ‘sound’ or it is ‘not sound’ and the Inspector has decided that her plan is the latter. If Cllr Vickers is right and she claims to be then the Inspector would have approved it.
Dr GEOFFREY RICHARDSON
Tennyson Close, Horsham