Cllr Vickers’ recent letter on where she intends to put yet another 2,000 houses above the number in the proposed Local Plan was all spin and no substance.
She simply didn’t tell us where she intends to place these extra houses, ordered by the government’s Planning Inspector. Instead Cllr Vickers chose in her letter to create an impression that it won’t be on the greenfield land North of Horsham.
She did NOT rule out putting the houses here – she simply said that no more additional land will be allocated. The two are not the same.
The land grab on this greenfield site in the Plan published by HDC so far includes a great deal that the American developers Liberty Property Trust would be very happy to replace with highly profitable houses:
A huge superstore, similar in size to Tesco at Broadbridge Heath – but the supermarket chains don’t want more of these huge stores any more. Tesco announced only recently it will not build those it already has permission for. Unlikely to be built.
A railway station and parking that Network Rail is very unlikely to approve, as HDC itself committed to any new station being at Kilnwood Vale in 2011 (confirmed in a FoI answer) and any new station would have to be balanced by closing one to maintain train speeds. Unlikely to be built.
A massive ‘employment park’ that isn’t needed – even reports HDC commissioned last year admitted any such development would be ‘speculative’. HDC chooses not to support re-use and redevelopment of vacant office and commercial space instead, walking away from supporting our existing town centre and industrial estates. Unlikely to be built.
Kent residents found to their cost just how happy Liberty is to build profitable houses instead of employment parks – their ‘award-winning’ development was to have more than 2m sq ft of business space and a ‘village’, yet they have built less than half the business space and built many times more houses than ‘planned’.
Cllr Vickers and the ruling group on HDC who pushed this Plan and excluded alternatives from council and public consultation know all this.
Are you prepared to have even more development dumped where it shouldn’t be put, on green fields that will be lost for ever instead of the brownfield land that Government policy says should be used first? Not all candidates support this plan. You have a choice. Use your vote on May 7.
Primrose Copse, Horsham