LETTER: Offended by HDC’s ‘patronising tone’

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My thanks for printing my letter in your issue of August 22 (sent prior to Horsham District Council’s (HDC) Planning Meeting on the 20th).

Many people were and are extremely disappointed, worried and angry with the decision to plant another 475 houses on these stunning fields outside Billingshurst.

Those not at the meeting I think should be aware that those who were heard from HDC that there is no point going to Appeal as the Planning Inspectorate will uphold any such. If that is their belief it is surely a ‘green light’ to any developer who wishes to build anything whatsoever throughout the District?

Leaving aside the decision itself, I was not alone in finding the patronising tone of HDC extremely offensive. Furthermore, it was nauseating to hear the oft-repeated whine of ‘it’s not our fault’. People, we were told, may not understand that.

On the contrary, a great many people fully understand that the present Government’s presumption in favour of planning means Appeals are being upheld. However, what we also fully understand is that this would be entirely irrelevant to us had HDC done the work they should have done over many prior years with regard to planning.

May I say again, this is a Conservative-led Council and a Conservative-led Government. If some members of HDC found this decision as hard as they would like us to believe and, more importantly, as wrong; perhaps they should consider informing Conservative Central Office of their consideration of resigning as members?

HDC have saved a considerable sum by preventing the Appeal (for a previous, virtually identical planning application) which was due in October. They now stand to receive further considerable sums (new homes bonus etc) by granting this application.

May I suggest they take a fraction of this money and arrange a private appointment with a decent surgeon in the hope he can supply them with a spine. Or any other bodily appendage(s) which would help them ‘man up’.


Daux Avenue, Billingshurst