Letter: ‘Development Corporations – unelected quangos’

5th September 2020

Letter published by the West Sussex County Times, 3 September 2020

Sir,

‘Development Corporations – unelected and unaccountable-to-communities quangos’

Unfortunately, Mr Richard W. Symonds is mistaken in his understanding that Development Corporations are not Government Policy (WSCT Aug 20th and 27th), as is made clear by the Government’s ‘Planning for the Future White Paper’, released for consultation, 6 August.

Draconian ‘proposals’ therein include “Areas identified as Growth areas (suitable for substantial development)” that “would automatically be granted outline planning permission for the principle of development” (Proposal 5), in which development would be controlled by Government-appointed ‘Development Corporations’, in other words – unelected unaccountable-to-communities quangos.

Use of the Government’s ‘proposed’ new method for calculating housing targets would increase Horsham District’s ‘minimum housing need’ from the current 800 homes per year to an unprecedented 1,715 homes per year; 30,870 over 18 years. (see ‘Changes to the current planning system. Consultation on changes to planning policy and regulations’, also released for consultation 6t August)

Cllr Vickers has confirmed that to accommodate this enormous over-inflated target

we would need to build on every major housing site included in our recent Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation” (WSCT Aug 20th).  

These major sites would be deemed to be ‘Growth Areas’ and placed under the control of Development Corporations.

Note, too, that many of the smaller sites identified in the Local Plan consultation would also be allocated for development.

I urge all who care for the future of Horsham District, its communities and countryside and natural environment, to examine the Government’s proposals and respond to these pivotal consultations. 

Yours faithfully,
Dr Roger F Smith
Trustee CPRE Sussex