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 Current issues

January 2011 

Horsham Town Landscape Assessment

Covering letter to Horsham District Councillors

1 January 2011

Horsham District Councillors
Park North
North Street
Horsham, RH12 1RL

Dear Councillor

Horsham Town Landscape Assessment

The year ahead will provide many challenges to our elected members as you strive to maintain essential services in the face of a difficult financial situation. But it is in the field of strategic planning that the decisions you will take next year will make the most impact on the future of our District and Horsham town in particular.

The Horsham Society has never been among those who see change as a threat. We have never opposed the release of land for housing for its own sake, although we have expressed concerns about previous targets and projections. There is little doubt that there is, and will continue to be, demand for new housing if only to meet local needs, including contributing appropriately to a successful local economy.

The review of the core strategy will rehearse the arguments for and against specific targets and we will no doubt contribute to that debate. However, as far as we are concerned the question of where to locate new development is at least as important as the numbers. We have long argued against development which would undermine a community’s sense of identity.

The Horsham Town Design Statement adopted by the Council in 2008 recognises the need to protect the town’s setting and relationship with the surrounding countryside, and the wish to maintain the current built-up area boundary. The development of the town has reached its limit if it is to retain its essential identity.

I am attaching a copy of a brief landscape assessment prepared for the Society by Roy Worskett which explains in more detail the constraints to further development.

In the Society’s view the most acceptable way in which future needs for housing development can be met is through the creation of a new town. This would enable the necessary infrastructure to be put in place alongside the housing and would help to take the pressure off the rest of the District.

The Society looks forward to working constructively with members and officers as the work on the review of the core strategy moves ahead.

Yours sincerely

John Steele
Secretary, Planning Sub Committee

cc Tom Crowley, Ray Lee and Barbara Childs

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