LETTER: Inspector needs to know the facts

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I’m a resident in Holbrook East ward (in north Horsham) and I have just received an ‘In Touch’ leaflet from my two district councillors: Andrew Baldwin and Jim Rae.

On the front page the ‘dynamic duo’ explain with much handwringing why they, respectively, abstained and voted for the flawed housing plan in the Strategic Gap, which has been protected for more than 20 years.

This of course is HDC’s plan to dump more than 2,500 homes, an industrial park, a secondary school (in the wrong place) and another out of town supermarket all at a financial cost of £58m to upgrade the roundabouts on the A264 by placing traffic lights on all of them and building another roundabout at Langhurstwood Road.

Cllr Baldwin said on April 30 at the Council meeting when the Proposed Strategy was debated: ‘I should have been a coward and not turned up. It’s a grotty decision to make.’ (WSCT May 8, p10) And then he abstained!

Well what use is an abstention when it comes to taking a once in a generation planning decision? I want my councillors to represent the electorates’ view (and not ‘cowardly’ ones) – after all it’s the public that are the ones that send their councillors to the ‘town hall’ to advocate our concerns and represent us.

The consultation period on the flawed North Horsham plan ends on Friday, 27 June at 4pm. But Cllrs Baldwin and Rae have singularly failed to mention this on their newsletter. In fact they don’t mention at all the fact that there is a public consultation taking place right now at all. Their newsletter is A3 in size and printed on both sides so they certainly had the space to mention it.

This is the information that the duo singularly failed to put on their A3 jumbo sized newsletter: the website to register your comments: http://horsham.limehouse.co.uk/portal/planning/hdpf_1/hdpf_prop_sub;

e-mail: Strategic.Planning@horsham.gov.uk (don’t forget to include your full name and address) or by letter to: Strategic Planning Team, Horsham District Council, Park North, North Street, Horsham, RH12 1RL.

Please also see www.futurehorsham.info for details of how to write a representation.

Representations will be sent by HDC to the government’s planning Inspector and they will be read and considered in a way that most councillors didn’t last October (i.e. when they ignored them!)

The Inspector needs to know about the ‘whipping’ of the vote on this plan; the punishment of councillors who voted against the plan; the refusal to hold any public meetings in the face of being asked; the Hobson’s choice put out to consultation as well as to why this plan is not ‘sound’ in planning law.

Nick Webber

Rusper Road, Horsham