LETTER: Fight to keep good things of Horsham

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I refer to the political background of the current proposal to build on the remaining greenfields North of Horsham (Strategic Gap between Horsham and Crawley) at least 2,500-4,500 houses, crematoria, supermarkets, schools (and potentially an industrial/business park- although this last seems hardly realistic as certainly unprofitable for the developers in light of endless hectares of empty nearby business and industrial space).

Residents also need to be warned that a new consultation will be held by Horsham District Council, circa May 2014. Residents will need to register their final objections on HDC website and by other means - very soon.

Holbrook councillor, Christian Mitchell, has suffered the unprecedented punishment from HDC leader Ray Dawe - de-selection as chairman of the council for his principled stand on behalf of North Horsham against NHSD.

NHSD: this massive development will not just lead to a significant erosion of the Strategic Gap and the removal of the breathing lungs of Horsham, to uprecedented congestion and pollution of A264 and local road and parking mayhem.

There are many further implications, of which the public is likely still unware, due to lack of advertising by HDC of the implications of this build, and in fact, the build itself.

It was Cllr Christian Mitchell, with five colleagues, writing in this paper in July 13, who informed residents that services at Littlehaven station would be downgraded should the unlikely new Parkway station be built on the former greenfields north of Horsham, next to A264. No fast service trains will stop at Littlehaven.

It was Cllr Mitchell and his colleagues writing in August 2013, highlighting that our school catchment area will change and those living in North Horsham will no longer have Millais or Forest as their local secondary school but rather another school on the other side of the A264 – a school that will also share its catchment areas with Bewbush, Crawley meaning further move to merge Horsham and Crawley.

Further, it is clear that this secondary school is needed in Southwater, where it has been planned for the past 20 years - and was to be there until September 2012 but was suddenly moved eight miles down the byass once Cllr Vickers became Cabinet Member for Planning in April 2013.

Clrs Dawe, Vickers, Croft and Rae, Paterson and Circus - who are determined to push this forward despite significant opposition - and despite many better options for district housing and other development - have all kept silent on these critical issues to Horsham and its residents.

However, through Freedom of Information (FoI) requests by local residents and the Horsham Society it has been proved that what Cllr Mitchell et al wrote last summer was perfectly correct.

I note that Cllr Rae was made Deputy Cabinet Member both at HDC and WSCC and the same for Cllr Croft, who was made Deputy Leader just 24 months after being elected.

These promotions serve the political rise of those who toe the Conservative Party line here in Horsham - with regards to the idea of dumping all of the district’s housing and - who really knows what else - in North Horsham, instead of listening to the common sense of their constituents.

Cllr Christian Mitchell, who put his residents before political advancement, is to be highly commended. We need more Cllrs like Christian Mitchell.

Horsham residents: the new consultation is imminent - you must register your objections this spring 2014, to keep the good things about this town, your transport links, your catchment areas and the clean air you breathe.

Contact The Horsham Society, residents’ groups such as RAGE and SAVE HORSHAM, for more information about this proposal and what it means to you. There is also Local Government Ombudsman: http://www.lgo.org.uk/making-a-complaint/


Pondtail Road, Horsham