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We have made quite good progress in the last weeks in our efforts to convince everyone that there are so many things wrong with the planning application from Berkeley Homes that it simply has to be rejected. First, we have submitted to Horsham District Council our long and detailed objection to the proposal. If you would like to read this in full it can be seen HERE.

Second, at a special meeting on Thursday 8th May, Southwater Parish Council unanimously voted to reject the application. They do not have any right of veto but their position does carry some weight with HDC. A report on the meeting appears HERE.

Third, it has become very apparent that the state of the Southwater sewage system is far worse than anyone had previously acknowledged or appreciated. There are two areas in the village that, for many years,  have had the most appalling of problems with raw sewage regularly overflowing into their gardens and even into their houses, rendering it impossible for them to use their toilets. This is not due to local blockages or pump failures but represents a total failure of the system, which simply cannot cope.

It has been almost impossible to get any sense out of Southern Water, which is of itself a scandal, so we have now enlisted the help of our MP, Francis Maude. He was shocked to hear of the problems and has undertaken to sort it out. The affected residents will be delighted if he does so, and so will we. But, in terms of the development, the fact that the sewerage system is manifestly unfit for purpose should, and I think will, mean that until it is properly fixed NO development of any sort can happen. And it will hardly be a quick thing to fix!

Another absolute infrastructure problem is that ambulances are not able to get to Southwater quickly enough to come anywhere near the targets that Government has set for them to attend emergencies. This is really serious, especially for those of us – like me – who are getting older and may depend on them if we have heart attack or stroke. Again NO development at all should take place until this has been rectified.

Importantly, there is still time submit your own personal objection direct to HDC quoting planning reference DC/14/0590. For details on how to do this see HERE.

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