Like many people, I find the development of Horsham extremely worrying. Even leaving aside the question of whether Horsham District should be taking the volume of housing development that is current and proposed, the pace of change is simply too fast.
Where on earth are all the extra GPs, teachers, schools, buses, trains, etc, going to come from in such a short time?
For instance, my GPs are at Orchard Surgery, one of the three surgeries it has been suggested move to Broadbridge Heath. It smacks of spreading the GP services too thinly.
Nationally, I believe not enough medical students are choosing to train as GPs so the prospects for keeping pace with increasing demands in Horsham District are very poor. How the developments can be called sustainable escapes me completely.
I cannot help feeling that, in the cascading down of housing planning targets from central government through West Sussex County Council to Horsham, that Horsham District is being asked to take more than its fair share of housing development, with huge pressure on the surrounding land.
In my experience, commercial builders much prefer construction on greenfield sites over brownfield ones. This preference reinforces all the increased pressures on Horsham District.
Expansion of Gatwick Airport is more of a national issue, but I do not view the additional housing being imposed on Horsham as its concomitant.
My understanding is that Stansted Airport is running below capacity, and there are landing ‘slots’ available at both Gatwick and Heathrow, providing increased capacity without adding extra runways.
The problem is these vacant ‘slots’ are at times unpopular with the airlines. Expansion of, say, Birmingham Airport, would move at least some economic activity northwards out of South East England, helping to rebalance prosperity within the UK.
Moving away from these national issues. I’m certain I’m not the only person to find HDC’s refusal of planning permission for Horsham Football Club’s proposed new ground at Hop Oast totally outrageous. All the reasons given for refusal apply in spades to North Horsham.
Am I being cynical in thinking that this Stalinist council’s next move will be to include a site for Horsham FC’s ground within, or adjacent to, the North Horsham development? Or, perhaps with land allocated for the additional 2,000 new homes required by the Planning Inspector.