With just 24 hours notice, Horsham District Council’s vote on the new Local Plan was cancelled yet again in July. The Conservative-run council was expected to approve controversial new housing estates in Buck Barn, West of Ifield, Southwater and Billingshurst.
Astonishingly, this is the third time it’s been delayed. When it finally comes to Council in November, it will be a full year past the deadline.
Could we have had a Local Plan by now? Yes. However, Horsham Conservatives have refused to involve the Lib Dems or any other opposition group in plan-making, even while they struggle to reach a decision among themselves. Time is passing – will they ever manage to agree?
Public anger has been directed at the choice of sites. But there are many other issues to object to. We need more attention paid to eco building standards, affordable housing and infrastructure provision.
The longer this goes on, the more risk we face of wildcat developments on unsuitable sites. Local Conservative chaos is making even more problems for Horsham, on top of the highly unpopular national Conservative planning policy.