Residents of Broadbridge Heath are shocked to learn that despite 10 years of repeated promises, there will be no new primary school in Wickhurst Green.
Missed deadlines on top of broken promises
This news flies in the face of 10 years of promises, including assurances given to local councillors as recently as a few weeks ago that the school would go ahead.
However, local Lib Dem councillors recently learned of a decision letter sent by the Department for Education (DfE) in which the DfE withdrew the proposed school from the Free School Capital Programme.
Worse still, the Section 106 legal agreement with Countryside Homes expires in August. This means that if West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and/or Horsham District Council (HDC) do not take on the land immediately, it will have to be handed back to Countryside Homes for free.
Residents deserve better than Conservative mismanagement
Neither WSCC Cllr Nigel Jupp (Cons), Cabinet Member for Education & Skills at WSCC, nor local WSCC Cllr Christian Mitchell (Cons, Broadbridge) seem to have realised this was about to happen.
Broadbridge Heath's Lib Dem, HDC Councillors have been demanding answers as to how both councils are allowing this to happen.
Cllr Louise Potter, said:
“Local residents have been let down time and again over Wickhurst Green. The doctor’s surgery was never built, and there’s been continuous disruption from a badly planned road system. Unbelievably, parts of the development are still not complete all these years later. Now we are told there is to be no new school either. This is beyond unacceptable.”
Cllr Matt Allen, added:
“This is land that was set aside many years ago to be a vital community space as our village grew. Unnecessary delays mean that we now risk seeing that land revert back to the developer at great loss to residents. This must be stopped.”
An alternative community use must be found
Horsham Lib Dems have started a petition calling upon WSCC and HDC to work together to secure control over the Wickhurst Green site before the deadline runs out.
The land must be kept safe for local residents until either a new school or other community use can be found.
Sign our petition at: https://www.horshamlibdems.org.uk/save_school.