LETTER: No economic justification

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HDC Planning department clearly has problems - it can’t handle planning applications quickly enough, or produce a timely Housing Strategy proposal.

It ignores previous Gatwick Diamond recommendations (see below) and tries to take a short cut by supporting a developer-led idea for North Horsham.

It’s inconsistent in its Interim Sustainability report of August 2013 which explored the various options for housing. For example, extending development at Kilnwood (west of Bewbush) risks merging Crawley and Faygate and impacting the Crawley and Horsham gap, yet the same negative is not mentioned for the North Horsham proposal to which it obviously does apply.

The following extract from a document HDC is a signatory to shows there is no economic justification for a Business Park north of Horsham.

From Gatwick Diamond local strategic statement of March 2012:

‘Given the strength of Crawley/Gatwick as a business location and the concentration of demand there, this area is expected to be the main focus for future economic development, at least in the short and medium term.

Redhill/Reigate and, to the edge of the Diamond, Leatherhead, with their locations close to the M25, attract a slightly different business market and are also expected to continue to be important locations for business development.

This does not mean that business development in other locations is precluded. In general, that development is likely to reflect the particular attributes of the smaller settlements and support local communities rather than providing strategic employment growth.

Investment in sustainable transport at the regional hubs, Crawley/Gatwick and Reigate/Redhill.

At a strategic level, transport policies will be focused with the aim of securing:

- investment in sustainable transport to, between and within the two regional hubs

- enhanced rail connectivity and reliability to London

- public transport connectivity to Gatwick and the main urban areas

- enhancement to the operation of the road network providing strategic access to Gatwick

- no deterioration of congestion beyond current levels, both in terms of delay and journey time reliability.’

And the 2010 ‘NW Sussex Employment land review’ indicated sufficient provision of employment land in HDC, although it did consider the idea of a small Business park within NW Sussex – but not north of Horsham.

A Heads

Sloughbrook Close, Horsham