Roger Arthur’s letter ‘Communities will suffer’ should be read by all those residents of Horsham District who believe they have been saved from doom by the councillors of the southern wards led by Cllrs Dawe and Vickers.
Apart from the traffic chaos that will ensue on the A24 and A264 – affecting those residents in rural southern wards just as much as those in what will become ‘suburbia’ - Mr Arthur describes how developers will cock a snook at Horsham District Council.
‘Sadly developers will carry no penalty when the 800pa target is not met and HDC cannot force them to build. So it is communities that will suffer from more indiscriminate development and infrastructure overloading, because the target is unattainable.’
Even at the height of the boom in the early noughties, annual house building in Horsham averaged only 453 houses per year.
There are 15 years between now and 2031 when Horsham District has to build 16,000 houses – over 1,000pa.
If interest rates go up and house sales flatten off, and headship rates increase – does anyone believe developers are going to meet that target? They don’t have to build and HDC can do nothing to ‘force them to do that’.
Having got planning approval, thereby increasing their asset values by many £100,000s per acre, developers will sit on their land banks until there are enough buyers around - before they build.
That of course gives us a clue as to why 7,000 houses in the District, have planning approval, but are not being built.
When the (unachievable) annual targets are not met, then other developers will be free to put in speculative planning applications which could be anywhere in the District and probably on green field (or even flood-prone) sites.
So those in southern wards who think they are safe from speculative housing development won’t be - even if this crazy HDPF goes through.
Oh, and of course, if this goes for Judicial Review of the HDLPF there will be further delay and that annual target will be even higher and even less attainable.
So, if you think that you are safe in the south, then think again. Your southern councillors have failed you, by not challenging the PI to make adjustment for market signals, as required by the Planning Minister.
They have let you down.
Owlscastle Close, Horsham
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