I attended Horsham District Council’s Extraordinary Meeting on November 19 at which a majority of councillors voted to adopt the local plan, the HDPF.
Disturbingly, none of the councillors who spoke at the meeting acknowledged that the Inspector’s approval of the plan was subject to conditions, notably his requirement for the council to review the District’s need for housing within three years of the HDPF’s adoption, in order to address ‘the needs of the wider area’ including ‘those of the coastal area authorities and possibly London’ too.
This iniquitous requirement is an open invitation to other councils, including London Boroughs, to offload their housing on to Horsham District and for developers to seek a substantial increase in the housing target for the District, considerably in excess of the huge interim target set by the Inspector of 800 houses per year.
It should not be forgotten that during the public examination of the HDPF, at least one of the participating developers sought a target of 950/1000 houses per year to 2031.
Although Cllr Ray Dawe warned the meeting that a ‘tsunami’ of housing was going to spread from London and it would be put in areas of least resistance (WSCT 26Nov15), he did not explain that the Inspector’s endorsement of the plan required the council to accommodate the ‘tsunami’, as well as the housing needs of other councils.
Dr ROGER F. SMITH
For Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Sussex (Horsham District), Bashurst Copse, Itchingfield
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