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Horsham District Local Plan 2023 – 2024 housing target

15th February 2024

Letter published by the West Sussex County Times, 15 February 2024

Dear Sir,

Substantial increase

Using the Government’s hocus pocus Standard Method formula Horsham District Council (HDC) has determined that the district’s local housing need for the period of its Local Plan 2023 – 2040 (consultation end March 1st) amounts to 15,487 (911pa x 17) new homes (paragraph 10.4).

However, because of the need to achieve water neutrality HDC has proposed a stepped trajectory delivering 480 homes pa in the first five years of the Plan and 901 homes pa for the remaining 12 years, amounting to 13,212 in total, with a resultant unmet housing need of 2,275 homes against the Standard Method target.

The Plan advises that HDC will work with neighbouring authorities to meet the district’s unmet need in sustainable locations.

The Plan also advises that although the constraints of water neutrality do not enable the unmet housing needs of other districts and boroughs to be accommodated at the current time, this position will need to be kept under review as part of future plan reviews and through ongoing active engagement, once an alternative water supply solution for the district is secured (paragraph 4.9).

In other words, to meet the unmet needs of other local authorities HDC’s proposed housing target (13,212 new homes) will be subject to a yet to be declared substantial increase, doubtless requiring the allocation of additional sites, with consequences for the district’s communities and environment.

Unfortunately, ramifications of paragraph 4.9 were not considered at the meeting of the Cabinet and the subsequent Extraordinary Council Meeting, held to consider and approve the Plan on 11 December 2023.

Full transcriptions of these meetings can be viewed at and downloaded from the CPRE Sussex website.

Yours faithfully,

Dr R F Smith

Trustee CPRE Sussex