What a sly letter last week from Cllr Vickers on where she does and doesn’t intend to allocate at least 2,000 more homes ordered by the government’s housing inspector (8.1.14). No doubt she won’t put any more houses in her own backyard of Southwater.
Cllr Vickers says that with regards to North Horsham that she and her Cabinet cabal won’t be extending the North Horsham site ‘beyond the existing land allocated for development in the Plan’.
But what she doesn’t rule out is dumping some or all of the 2,000 homes in North Horsham in the existing 800 acre site. We all know that the site could take 4,500 homes because Liberty is on the public record for seeking that number over the past 18 months.
Her letter is a masterstroke of smoke and mirrors and no doubt the cabinet member responsible for communications with the public, Cllr Helena Croft, had a hand in this as taxpayer paid spin-doctor.
What Cllr Vickers, the cabinet member for planning, failed to remind the public was that the Inspector states unambiguously that ‘it is for the council to decide how best to revise its housing strategy’ (paragraph 20 of his letter) and so all strategic sites including those rejected by the cabinet can and should be looked at.
After the election in some 16 weeks’ time, a new council could remove the North Horsham strategic site thereby stopping ‘Crawsham’ becoming a reality. But to do that residents on May 7 will need to vote out the North Horsham architects of Cllrs Croft, Vickers, Rae and Cornell.
Rusper Road, Horsham