The Planning Inspector has been nominated by the Government and he is going to decide in November whether or not to accept the Horsham District Plan. Of course, all the developers are arguing that he should not accept it and it would be much better to agree the vast extra numbers they want. Both Berkeley Homes and Wates Developments have submitted general proposals which, taken together with the 500 proposed by HDC, would impose more than 3000 houses upon Southwater!
We have to hope the Inspector sees through these ridiculous proposals but we cannot rely on it. KSG has submitted to the Inspector a detailed written argument against all of this and we are going to be represented, and able to speak, at the meeting on 12th November when he specifically considers Southwater. We will put a copy of our submission on the website at that time but think it is tactically best to keep our arguments to ourselves until then.
However, in summary we will argue to the Inspector that even 500 is far too many because the infrastructure is not there and consequently all higher numbers are simply untenable. Virtually everyone drives to the north for employment which makes a nonsense of having major housing south of Horsham.
The anthrax risk still worries us and should worry everyone. The Health Protection Agency/Public Health England do not share our concern. Neither can we convince the Chief Executive of Berkeley Homes. They are both inclined to think it is we who do not understand.
We do! We in turn have concerns about Public Health England, which have not been allayed by hearing them use almost identical wording – “the risk is very small” – when they describe the risk of Ebola in this country. The science may convince them, but common sense says these risks are taken lightly by them at our peril.
Sewage remains a worry but there is an encouraging development in that Southern Water has submitted a paper to the Inspector in which they stress that the sewage system must be upgraded first, before development, and that HDC needs to ensure this happens. It is of course what we have been saying for the last 6 months at least!
We have used the petition to validate our arguments with the Inspector. We are just under 3000 signatures now and it would be nice to break that barrier – please pass the word around that people can still sign up online!