The planning inspector has now released his initial findings and has declared the North Horsham development to be ‘sound’.
This is bitterly disappointing. The views of hundreds of objectors and of numerous community groups have been ignored. And Horsham District Council’s housing numbers are still not enough! They have been given six months to work on a revision.
This pattern of events is being repeated throughout the country. Horsham is not alone. The character of the nation’s historic towns and villages is being destroyed by imposed urban sprawl and our precious countryside is being gobbled up.
This is not a planning ‘system’, but sheer anarchy! Successive governments are to blame, as each has sought to appease the construction industry. And will the necessary affordable homes be delivered in the required numbers? It is extremely unlikely, as they are not profitable enough.
The UK is now the most densely populated country in Europe. Land is a scarce and precious resource and needs to be used wisely. We urgently need a return to a more rational system of planning, perhaps along the lines of the old county structure plans.
Only political action at national level could achieve this, but unfortunately, there is no sign that this is likely to happen, whichever government takes power in 2015.
STEPHEN D. WATTS
Heath Way, Horsham