I would like to express my concern that the council seems to be sleepwalking into changing the face and character of our town. It is the major topic of conversation at supermarket checkouts (the equivalent of a ‘water cooler’ for local residents) just now and the cause of anger and anxiety.
The plan to create large numbers of new build houses does not seem to bear any relation to the predicted local population growth rate and is out of kilter with other towns in West Sussex.
Simple arithmetic shows that we have enough homes already existing, currently being built and already planned to meet our forecasted needs. Why are we expected to carry such a disproportionate burden of new growth?
This does make me wonder whose interests the local council is serving – is it land hungry developers, or is this a wish to placate the government and keep them away from dictating to us what will happen to our town?
No persuadable justification has been put forward for ignoring the currently available brownfield sites before embarking on more erosion of greenfield land.
Developers obviously prefer a ‘blank canvas’ but once again they seem to be receiving preferential treatment. It is clear that the strategic gap between Horsham and Crawley is now under threat and once this is breached we will become the sprawling ‘Crawsham’ we have fought against for so long.
Significantly increasing the population size of Horsham has huge implications for our infrastructure. Provision of sufficient education facilities, transport services, and perhaps most importantly, local health services, have not been adequately addressed.
We are traditionally a small market town and the character of our local community will be easily destroyed and impossible to restore.
It is disappointing that at recently convened meetings councillors have been unable to answer fairly straightforward questions about the implications for future development. Our locally elected representatives need to remember who they are accountable to, and will need to put forward a more coherent and credible argument for their plans than seems to have been possible so far.
Friday Street, Warnham