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Manifestos need close scrutiny

Letter published by the West Sussex County Times, 21 November 2019



Manifestos need close scrutiny

The General Election on December 12 coincides with Horsham District Council finalising its soon-to-be-released-for-consultation District Plan, 2021 to 2036, in which extensive areas of countryside are to be allocated to accommodate a hugely inflated house-building target.

Compulsory use of the Government’s hocus pocus formula-based method to determine the District’s base-line housing target, which together with the Government-imposed ‘duty to cooperate’ with other councils seeking to offload their ‘un-met’ housing needs on to our District, is likely to result in an annual target in excess of 1,400 per year.

This undemocratic’ ‘plan-making’ process is the product of a planning regime that does not take in to account the Climate Emergency and has consistently failed to meet the increasingly urgent need for truly affordable-rentable housing, and essential infrastructure and services, deliberately sacrificing environmental sustainability, protection and enhancement in the pursuit of excessive and unrealistic house-building targets, and the commercial interests of developers.

Horsham District desperately needs representatives in Parliament who will listen to and stand-up for its communities on planning and environmental matters and who will strive for a planning system and policies that will secure a truly sustainable future for people and the environment. Candidates and their manifestos need close scrutiny.

Yours faithfully,

Dr R F Smith
Trustee CPRE Sussex

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