LETTER: Fast becoming unattractive place

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My wife and I managed to re arrange our day on Thursday afternoon to accommodate Horsham District Council’s very short (2pm – 6pm) ‘opening times’ and visited the hidden away three day exhibition in Swan Walk. We wanted to discuss the HDC Strategic Plan (approved by council on April 30th) and what it will mean to all of us living in the District.

I was looking for detailed answers to questions but I did not get these.

I raised the issue of station parking (or lack of it) and they are still of the opinion that the new station will be built. When I said that it was my understanding that Network Rail have stipulated that it won’t be built and that it’s most likely to be built at Kilnwood Vale, they indicated that if that is the case, more parking would have to be provided in Horsham and at Littlehaven.

When I asked where in Littlehaven - and what about the crossing causing further congestion in Rusper Road - they admitted that this was a concern to them, but didn’t currently have a solution.

I asked about traffic levels on the A24/A264 corridor if these proposals go ahead. There could be an extra 20,000 cars moving about in the area, taking into account the West Horsham developments and Kilnwood Vale. They just said – yes, traffic levels will increase significantly in the area – but in their view it wouldn’t be considered at ‘serious levels’. I said I’d ask them the same question again in a couple of weeks when the A24 is gridlocked in both directions!

When I asked them about the planned business park, I was told that no companies have committed themselves to locating in the new business park – however they claim that some have ‘shown interest’... but of course won’t say who.

If a new secondary school is built north of the A264, they would not positively admit that the catchment areas will change –they say that ‘they might’.

They didn’t like it when I quizzed them as to why 600-plus pupils would still be bussed in from Southwater every day at huge expense to the tax payer and couldn’t really explain why a school wasn’t being built in Southwater where it’s needed – saying, ‘it may be necessary to build another one in Southwater at a later date’.

I requested reassurance that they would carry out repairs to the banks of Chennells Brook, which flows alongside our garden if flooding occurred as a result of building on or around the flood plain. They stated that there would be no building on the flood plain.

However if flooding or pollution did occur as a result of the development, we’d have to take it up with the Environment Agency – who would take legal action with Liberty if appropriate.

In conclusion, what they are saying is that these important details won’t be worked out until the proposed development gets signed off and goes ahead – or in other words, once the development starts, they’ll do whatever they want at the time to patch up the problems that emerge, or that they’re aware of but haven’t addressed yet – when it’s all too late!

What with this, the flight path trial and the prospect of a second runway at Gatwick, Horsham is fast becoming a particularly unattractive place to live.

NICK WEBBER

Rusper Road, Horsham