In his letter last week, Peter Grace accurately predicted the outcome of the Horsham District Council meeting on the Planning Framework, which includes around 2,500 more houses in North Horsham.
It was evident that i) the ‘consultation’ process was suspect, because it covered only the Tory group’s preferred solution, without any evaluation of alternative options, ii) that the proposed 500,000 sq ft of employment space was not supported by a sound business case and iii) that the Plan is based on an unattainable 20 year housing target of 650 pa.
That target will allow the un-elected Planning Inspectorate to continue permitting speculative development on greenfield and flood-prone sites, whilst neglecting brownfield sites.
HDC could have confronted that by including a qualified target (in addition to 650pa) based on ‘what is reasonable’ but the ruling group evidently does not want to risk any public disagreement with its own Minister.
So once again, the interests of Party have been put before those of residents.
The transport study was incomplete, with no indication of when air pollution or congestion is likely to become critical, causing residents to shop out of town.
Also, since we are not going to get the long promised major General Hospital, residents might have expected some idea of how NHS accessibility and ambulance response times are going to be improved.
All in all, it was a disappointing outcome and one which will not have impressed many residents, who seem to have been treated with contempt by a one solution ‘consultation’ process.
They have also been let down by the failure of Localism, along with the ruling group’s lack of moral fibre and objectivity.
Chairman, UKIP Horsham Branch, Crawley Road, Horsham