Rookwood – what’s changed?

In a fanfare of carefully controlled publicity, HDC have just released ‘Version 3’ of their plans for Rookwood. On examination they turn out to be largely the same as Version 2, but with nicer pictures!

Key points:

  • Still 800 homes with no response to most of the key criticisms
  • Changes are largely cosmetic – nice words and pictures
  • Only material change is to reintroduce a primary school, now sited north of the Warnham Rd along with some housing
  • Still building in the most sensitive ecological area, between the rivers (the 15th fairway)
  • Still has a huge new roundabout on Warnham Rd
  • Still has an unnecessary bus bridge from Redford Avenue into the estate, creating a barrier across the key ecological river corridor
  • £20 million profit to HDC – but they don’t mention the £20 million that must go to the Lucas Estate.
  • Unambitious targets on affordable housing and carbon neutral building - no better than some private developers
  • 5 gypsy/traveller pitches but exact location not given

The Lib Dem view is that Rookwood should not be included in the Local Plan. It should be debated separately, so we can properly discuss the wider issues in terms of HDC strategy for community services and housing.

There is no vision for this idea other than making money.

Cllr John Milne - Lib Dem member for Roffey North concludes: “This isn’t a real version 3, it’s just version 2 with the school back in and a bit more housing in the north. It was supposed to be an ‘answer to public criticism’. But in fact it does nothing for any of the main problems.”

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