Below are the full texts of the speeches we made at the planning meeting in objection to the application to build 963 homes in Broadbridge Heath, with only 20% of the proposed development addressing local housing needs.
David Hide, Chair of Horsham Labour party said:
Horsham Labour party opposes this development due to its failure to deliver affordable housing at the appropriate rate.
This application provides a guarantee of no more than 20% affordable; just half of the council’s own target. Have we not been here before? If it accepts this application our Tory council would demonstrate that it has learnt little about integrity in public consultation, since the Berkeley homes application, even to the extent of ignoring Eric Pickles’ localism agenda. Fat chance of localism here in Horsham, where no amount of consultation, parish council meetings, petitions and letter writing, make a jot of difference to the outcome. More ‘bankrupt’ than a ‘big’ society in Horsham?
How can it be right that the level of affordable housing on a development of 963 units remains a secret until one week before the planning meeting? This does not provide enough time for local residents to either support or object, or for the Lib Dems to make up their minds which way they might vote.
It was only through the delivery of 40% affordable housing on the West of Horsham development that the Tories planned to meet their own housing target. What plans are in place to bridge the gap between the 20% now proposed and this target? And how will the additional monies promised in lieu of building affordable housing on this site be used to deliver new homes?
The Tories fail to give planning permission to many sites that contain anything like 40% affordable housing. By failing to adhere to its Core Strategy, intentionally or otherwise, the council’s actions resemble what Boris Johnson described as social cleansing, whereby only those who are sufficiently affluent are encouraged to make their homes here.
Horsham Labour Party calls upon the council to reject this application.
Ray Chapman, Secretary of Horsham Labour party said:
Horsham Labour Party collected hundredss of signatures demanding that all developments in Horsham deliver a minimum of 40% affordable housing. This reflects the desire of local residents for opportunities for their own families to continue to live and work here. The majority of signatures were of residents from Broadbridge Heath, and the petition would, by any definition, comply with the Government’s policy on localism – local people having their voices heard in the planning process.
And yet, less than a year since this council disgracefully gave permission to Berkeley Homes in disregard of the views of local people, we have the possibility of a similar application being accepted.
This application fails both to meet the council’s own housing target of 40% affordable, and to respond to the demands of local people, but will the Tory council listen to local people or once again demonstrate a greater concern for the interests of the developers?
This would go against the recommendations of the core strategy and district valuer who says that this site can afford to deliver the council’s target. The developer sweeps this aside, claiming that this is just the council’s target.
This target should be met. The Developer offers 10% affordable housing paid in cash rather than built on site, but this offer should be rejected, in line with the council’s core strategy.
For once the council should call the shots on behalf of the people it represents.
Horsham’s Tories have an appalling record on delivering the affordable homes we need, and once again we have an application that fails to satisfactorily match the massive local demand, the requirements of the core strategy and the expert opinion of the council’s own staff. We ask you to reject this application.