Derelict Sites

March 8, 2015 · Posted in Housing & Planning · Comment 

Two areas within the Roffey South ward resemble bombsites. Your local councillors have consistently applied robust pressure to convince the land owners to re-develop them. It is always our aim to have unsightly and derelict land utilised for new homes, especially affordable homes, for first time buyers.

Guinness Trust Housing

March 8, 2015 · Posted in Housing & Planning · Comment 

At long last the Guinness Trust development at the heart of Roffey (opposite the Millennium Hall) is nearly complete. Roy and Simon have been working keep the pressure on the developers, to see this long standing eyesore of derelict housing torn down and new houses built. It will provide some much need affordable housing and lift the whole feel of the area.

Housing Strategy Consultation

September 21, 2013 · Posted in Environment, Housing & Planning · Comment 

Horsham District Council is currently consulting on its next strategic planning document setting out the Councils Development plans for the next 20 years, as required by the Government. The main proposal it contains is the building of 2,500 new houses together with a 500,000 square foot business park, a supermarket and possibly a new station and secondary school. This would be located in the countryside north of the A264. The plans have been met with opposition from the public and some local council members.

Your district councillors, Roy and Simon agree that there is a need for development. We need new housing and places of work, to keep our towns and villages alive and prevent house prices becoming even more unaffordable. However, they believe that there are far better sites than those that have been proposed in the council’s consultation document, including brownfield sites.

The strategic gap between Horsham and Crawley, now that the Kilnwood Vale development has commenced on the edge of Crawley, has been reduced to as little as two miles. There should be no further erosion of our beautiful countryside in our green belt that preserves the separate identities of the towns of Horsham and Crawley. The joining of the towns of Horsham and Crawley to create ‘Craw-sham’, often joked about, is actually happening.

It was why the A264 by-pass was strategically placed where it was, an impenetrable boundary stretching between the Great Daux roundabout to the Moorhead roundabout in Roffey. The express intention of the council has been from that day that there shall not be any development beyond it. Once that boundary is breached there is nothing to stop further development spreading north.

The proposed North Horsham development would create a soulless community divorced from our historic market town of Horsham, separated by the by-pass. This is not building a community. This is not about creating space for people to inhabit and spend time in. This is existence living around a supermarket and an industrial park, which will be closed at weekends.
It is proposed that there will be a new station within the development but this will mean that Roffey residents will suffer the downgrading of Littlehaven station with fewer, if any, fast trains to London.

If the development happens it will have a massive impact on the A24, A264 and other local roads. Everyone who is familiar with those roads in rush hour will know that the traffic is bad enough as it is. The Council’s Preferred Strategy does not address this issue nor provide solutions for it

The consultation period runs until 11 October 2013. We urge all residents to write to the council to give their views on this building on our green belt. If you wish to comment please go onto the HDC website (horsham.gov.uk) or send an email to strategic.planning@horsham.gov.uk.

Housing Consultation

October 30, 2012 · Posted in Housing & Planning · 1 Comment 

Before the Localism Act, the Government imposed a yearly requirement of 650 new homes for the District. Under the Localism Act all local authorities must set their own housing targets. Any housing numbers which we plan for the future have to be evidence based and need to take into account demand based on factors like economic growth and population changes.

The South East in particular has to plan ahead for more houses because the people are living longer, there are a large number of family breakdowns and an increasing birth rate. The number of homes built will directly affect our provision of affordable housing and with a waiting list of over 1000 families this is a key issue for our town. We need to create more homes and jobs – the key is to provide the right houses in the right place.

Earlier this year, HDC asked residents to comment on “How much housing does Horsham District need?” over the next 20 years. It is likely to be the new year before a decision is made on the number. Horsham District Council will also be consulting, on potential site options within the District for future housing developments up to 2026.

One of the proposed options is land north of the A264 by-pass in north Horsham (between Langhurstwood Road and the Moorhead roundabout). Roy and Simon, your local district councillors, are concerned about development in this area. While they recognise the importance of providing new homes for the benefit of the town and its residents, they feel that it is important that the strategic gap separating Horsham and Crawley is maintained and that other sites would be more suitable and that the area of countryside north of Horsham should be protected.

As usual, you can rely on us to keep you informed once the consultation process is underway.

Developments in Roffey

October 30, 2012 · Posted in Environment, Housing & Planning · Comment 

The Guinness trust have finally sorted out their planning permission to redevelop the derelict site opposite the Millennium Hall. We are very pleased with the proposals but there is still no timetable for when the existing unsightly building will be cleared. We will continue to try and get something done soon.

A planning application has recently been approved for demolition of the Martin Long Centre on the Crawley road and the construction of a replacement mental health centre on the site. Your local councillors will be working with residents and council staff to ensure that construction access onto Crawley road or Oak Tree Way is appropriate and doesn’t add to existing parking problems in Oak Tree Way both during the construction period and when in use.

While we are on the subject of Oak Tree Way Parking, following a consultation with local residents, we have arranged for the recycling area to be closed. This will help to relieve congestion in the area and is no longer needed due to the success of the acorn plus scheme.

Update on Crawley Road’s Derelict Buildings

February 1, 2012 · Posted in Housing & Planning · Comment 

As reported in our last newsletter, The Guinness Trust, the owners of the derelict site on the corner of Crawley Road and Littlehaven Lane promised to erect hoardings around the site. This was as a result of the public concerns about its appearance and security expressed at a public meeting in July. You will probably have noticed that the owners of the site erected a hoarding and painted it bright pink. Thanks to the prompt comments from local residents your local councillors requested that it be repainted a more appropriate blue, and there was a swift response from the owners.

Their planning application to redevelop the site and provide about 15 new homes is expected to be submitted shortly.

Unfortunately the Guinness Trust’s original timetable for the redevelopment of the site has slipped a little and the redevelopment is not expected to be completed for another year.

Cold Calling Insulation Schemes

January 31, 2012 · Posted in Environment, Housing & Planning · Comment 

Be warned of bogus home insulation grants. Some parts of the town are being targeted by a few companies claiming to be working in partnership with Horsham District Council, as part of its commitment to energy efficiency. HDC runs two local insulation schemes with HCL Energy (01273 390420) and HeatSeekers (0800 111 4968).

Any resident interested in having insulation installed can obtain a free, no obligation survey from either of these companies. No scheme connected to the council involves cold calling in person or by telephone. Nor do they require any payment before the work is carried out. You can also contact your energy company for insulation grants. If you have any queries you can contact HDC’s Sustainability Team on 01043 215281.

Action Demanded on Derelict Buildings in Crawley Road

April 29, 2011 · Posted in Housing & Planning · 1 Comment 

Local residents will be aware of the boarded up, tatty buildings on the Crawley Road opposite the Millennium Hall. They have been in that condition for some time and their shabby appearance makes the whole area look run down. There are also safety concerns with reports of children getting inside.

The buildings were purchased a few years ago by the Guinness Trust, a housing association who provide affordable homes. They intended to clear the site and redevelop it with some attractive and much needed housing for local people.

Unfortunately, due to the recession, they have nothad the money to do anything with the site. Simon and Roy want to see something done about this and will be putting pressure on those responsible.

As a temporary measure, until the redevelopment can happen, we would like to see the site cleared, and possibly used for parking. We have got the council’s solicitor involved to help with this and hope to have the same success with removing this eyesore as we did getting the burnt out office building near the station cleared.

Conservatives deliver on new Affordable Houses

February 6, 2011 · Posted in Housing & Planning · Comment 

As a result of the high cost of housing, the average age of the first time buyer is now 37! There is a requirement on Council to deliver new housing to meet identified needs. HDC has a target of 40% affordable houses being provided whenever 15 or more houses are built. In most developments the council has achieved this.

At the Planning meeting on 18 January, outline planning permission was given for houses and community facilities to be built on land south of Broadbridge Heath. Your Conservative District Council negotiated the provision of 20% affordable houses on site and a commuted lump sum of £7,730,000 to provide for another 96 affordable homes elsewhere in the District. This effectively amounts to 30% affordable housing provision with a review process which can deliver 40% if the current if the housing market follows current projections.

Despite some people thinking that the whole of the south east is going to be concreted over it is worth noting that 88% of West Sussex remains green fields, woods, open spaces and water. We have listened to local people and reduced the headline development numbers in Southwater and Billingshurst from about 2000 to a potential 500 and engaged in a further consultation which gives local residents more choices. However, simply saying “no” to development is neither permissible under current planning rules nor responsible when there remains a need for more houses for local people and in particular a need for more affordable housing. If the Council cannot demonstrate that it is delivering houses to meet the targets then it will not be able to prevent developers building houses or to require them contribute to improved community facilities and infrastructure.

The coalition government is planning to give district councils more freedom to determine housing land supply locally, meaning that the council will be able to better meet the public’s expectations.