LETTER: Farewell to lovely market town

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So people of Horsham, say ‘Goodbye’ to the market town that once was and ‘Hello’ to a sprawling metropolis that Ms Claire Vickers and her colleagues at Horsham District Council have planned for us all.

The deal for the massive home build (with all its potential ‘add ons’ like a station, factories, school etc, etc) is a done and dusted agreement, I feel sure, and any consultation will be ‘lip service’ only.

HDC hardly has a good record on listening to the residents, given its ‘track record’ (excuse the pun) on the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre - massive support to oppose the changes but ignored - and now we have thousands of homes and new ‘shopping facilities’ in progress.

Of course, as always Ms Vickers and her colleagues will quote ‘jobs and the economy’ for the area to justify this ridiculous numbers of housing which will far outweigh the job market. and anyway what makes her think that those moving into the area will want to work locally as she suggested? People work where they can get a job and it may not be local.

At the council meeting (25/07/2013) she quoted statistical reasons for the new planned houses north of Horsham, the reduction of car use would reduce our carbon footprint if people can live and work in the same area.

She also insisted that the agricultural land (where this development is to be built) was of poor quality.

What complete rubbish - any soil can be improved if there is a will do make it good.

As for our carbon footprint, well, it’s quite likely that Gatwick Airport will provide much employment, if the new runway goes ahead, but no doubt she and her council colleagues will welcome that, regardless of the aviation industry’s carbon footprint.

Funny how we ‘cherry pick’ statistics to suit our argument and as for the developers who have put ward this utopian plan, they will always play the ‘jobs and economy’ card to back up their intentions.

The impact on the A24 - already busy - the north Horsham by-pass and the A264 of the increase in traffic will be just awful.

To access Horsham at peak times is hopeless and with the two massive estates already in progress at Broadbridge Heath and the BerkeleyHomes complex, getting anywhere will just make Horsham a very stressful place to live.

Just how long does she think it’ll be before we’re not the tenth best place to live in this country but the 110th? Is that what we want for our children and grandchildren?

We had a lovely market town that people did enjoy living in. Our council is now in the process of making this place a sprawling metropolis and we the taxpayers / voters are being ‘conned’ into thinking that this development is necessary and they won’t be happy until Crawley, Horsham, Southwater and Billingshurst all join up.

Finally, I do hope that residents of Horsham and surrounding villages read the WSCC ‘Connections’ paper and noticed that the last census identified that West Sussex was seven per cent overcrowded.

Do we need to add to this percentage?

C.M. FRY

Searles View, Horsham