SOME of our local councillors have tried to justify the plans to massively develop on green field sites by claiming that it is the only way in which the homes that are needed for local people can be delivered.
The reality is that the homes that local people need, affordable homes, can only be delivered if the council shows genuine commitment to a robust strategy for affordable housing. This has been missing over recent years with the only clear benefits of Horsham’s planning decisions being those delivered to the developers.
No wonder they are lining up to submit even bigger and more profitable applications.
If our councillors are genuinely concerned about the need for homes for local people they have an opportunity to demonstrate this without signing off a single new planning application.
Kilnwood Vale, the 2,500 homes development west of Bewbush, has already received planning permission. The percentage of affordable homes falls well short of the original target but could provide the most beneficial terms for those allocated these homes.
Crawley council shares nomination rights to these homes with Horsham. Crawley Labour Party is calling for these homes to be council built so that the council can maintain control of these homes, ensure affordability and protect tenures.
Horsham council could evidence its commitment to social housing by supporting this proposal and provide the same level of benefits to people on its waiting list.
A motion calling on Crawley council to build council housing on this development has been tabled by Crawley Labour Party and will be discussed at its next full council meeting on February 29 at 7.30pm in the Town Hall, The Boulevard, Crawley.
Members of the public are welcome to attend this meeting and we would encourage anyone from Horsham or Crawley who is interested in social housing to do so.
Affordable housing campaigner and member of Horsham Labour Party