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UPDATE AUGUST 2014

Our team of intrepid volunteers spent much of May and June gathering signatures door-to-door and in Lintot Square for the petition against Berkeley Homes’ planning application for 634 houses west of the Worthing Road. To date nearly 2800 people have signed this, and you can still add your name online HERE. We shall deliver it to Horsham District Council at the opportune moment.  

Although things have been fairly quiet on the news front over the summer months, KSG has been hard at work behind the scenes. We have had some success in convincing everyone that Berkeley’s application is a bad proposal. Horsham District Council agreed that it did not fit with their up-coming Local Plan, and some time ago we heard that BH was going to submit an amended scheme. However, they have yet to do so.

We fear Berkeley Homes may be waiting to see what happens when the Planning Inspectors examine HDC’s Local Plan this autumn. The volume house-builders active in this area have all said it should be turned down and have suggested higher numbers, especially in their own zones of development, of course! If the Local Plan is not approved, Southwater, along with every other area around Horsham, will face a barrage of developers’ proposals, which will be very hard for HDC to resist.

In this respect, there are signs that the hyenas are already circling. Wates Developments has done a deal with the Dragons Estate, part of the Burrell empire, and is preparing to launch an application for about 205 houses at the far southern end of Southwater. This site lies west of Mill Straight, on the other side of the road from the Roman Way entrance, adjacent to The Fieldings.

A complicating, and we think not accidental, part of this concept is that the development would technically be in Shipley, as the parish border runs alongside The Fieldings. Shipley Parish Council is unlikely to object, especially as they may be hoping for a large slice of development money, but we hope Southwater Parish Council will as all the extra pressure on infrastructure and facilities would impact us, of course!

Recently we have met with Wates and have emphasised that they will experience plenty of opposition and the reasons for this, but it’s imperative that everyone who is against this proposal puts their objections in writing to Wates’ representative at the following address:

Edward Butler-Ellis, Associate Director, Curtin & Co, 299 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2DZ

Email : edwardbe@curtinandco.com 

At this stage there is no planning application to object to, as it is still only a proposal, so please don’t write to HDC. However, you certainly can and should contact one of our District Councillors – Claire Vickers, Ian Howard or John Chidlow – and make sure they are aware of your concerns. Paul Seabrook and Peter Handley, both residents of The Fieldings, are coordinating local opinions and concerns. Do contact them to register your support. Paul is at paul@seaby.co.uk and Peter at aphandley@aol.com.

On the sewerage problems there is some progress to report. Francis Maude, our MP, did stir things up and for that we are grateful. However, getting Horsham District Council and Southern Water to engage in real dialogue is still an uphill battle. Each tends to pass the buck to the other but it is only common sense that no further planning permissions should be granted until the system is demonstrably able to cope. Common sense though is a rare commodity in the rule-bound world of planning but we shall continue to promote it!

There’s no news on the emergency ambulances response rates, which remain dangerously below their required targets in Southwater. “Don’t have your heart attack here” would be a depressing slogan to put before potential house purchasers in the village!  Again, it is our view that no development at all should take place until this has been rectified.