LETTER: Inspector should address concerns

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The County Times has carried some interesting letters and articles relating to the Planning Inspector’s (PI) decision on HDC’s Planning Framework.

But, we still want to know i) why an unrealistic (750 to 800pa) housing target was imposed on HDC, without consideration of market factors, ii) how the business park is going to attract high value businesses, with employees who can afford to live in Horsham District, iii) how the infrastructure funding gap is to be filled and iv) how a second Gatwick runway might impact on the Plan.

While the Planning Inspector may not be elected, he should surely address the concerns raised by residents during the so-called ‘consultation’. Otherwise why should taxpayers continue to fund the Inspectorate to the tune of over £40 million pa?

For its part, HDC has taken a long time to complete the Plan and to get it adopted, but it could soon become obsolete if and when the second Gatwick runway is approved.

Perhaps HDC’s leader can explain i) how much it has cost HDC to get to this stage and ii) how long the Plan, with its arbitrary 20 year target, can protect to our beautiful countryside, when house building is already past its peak.

A lot of time and money seems to have been spent on the HDPF (not to mention Neighbourhood Plans) with limited apparent benefit.

HDC’s Plan was supposed to meet the aspirations of the people, through the Coalition’s promises of Localism, but it seems to have fallen well short of that.

This surely raises questions over the competence of HDC’s ruling group, of the PI’s accountability to residents and the effectiveness of the National Planning Policy Framework.


West Way, Slinfold