Maybe councillors Ray Dawe, Claire Vickers, Helena Croft, Jim Rae, Brian O’Connell, Brian Donnelly, Roy Cornell et al are delighted by their success at the Horsham District Council meeting on April 30.
They probably think it is all over and all they have to do now is get their lawyers to persuade the Inspector what good citizens they have been in pushing through this plan which will change the face of Horsham for ever.
But they will persuade themselves that they have earned Brownie points for ‘economic’ development and ‘housing’ targets which evidence suggests there is no chance of meeting.
But these councillors believe because they have an ‘agreed’ Local Plan – however wrong it is for Horsham District – it will stop dreadful developers from getting permission from an Inspector to build anywhere even if HDC’s two Planning Committees say ‘no’.
The battle may have been lost by residents but not the war.
To the residents sitting in on that meeting on April 30 – it all looked ‘predetermined’ – minds had been made up and the ‘yes’ gang were not going to be persuaded otherwise. Indeed Cllr Brian Donnelly (Pulborough) tried to stop discussion of an alternative proposal asking the chairman to put it to an immediate vote when others wanted to speak.
The danger is that residents decide ‘it’s too late’ and ‘there is nothing we can do’.
There is still a public consultation that will last for six weeks starting 16 May 2014. Last year 1,800 residents wrote to the council during the first consultation in mid-summer. Those responses will not go to the Inspector – just in the bin.
Responses submitted during the May/June 2014 consultation will go to the Inspector and help to form his judgement following a public inquiry in late October/November 2014.
The Save Horsham (http://savehorsham.wordpress.com) and RAGE websites (www.facebook.com/ragegrouphorsham) will in due course give guidance as to how to make a relevant response in terms of planning law.
Your voice could well help to correct some of the misguided thinking in this flawed plan pushed through by councillors Dawe, Croft, Vickers and Rae.
You will have a chance to express your concerns. Please use it.
New Moorhead Drive,