DC/16/1677 – Development on land North of Horsham

Notes of a meeting of the Affordable housing, Education, Health and Community  working party held on 15th September 2016 at 3pm at Roffey Millennium Hall
Purpose:- one of three working parties appointed as part of co-ordinating  a full response to the outline planning application recently submitted for development north of Horsham (DC/16/1677). The application includes housing (up to 2,750 dwellings), a business park (up to 46,450 m2), retail, community centre, leisure facilities, education facilities, public open space, landscaping and related infrastructure and has reserved matters except for access.
Remit:- to put forward comments  relating to affordable housing, education, health and community. To comment on areas identified by the Environment and Infrastructure group where there is overlap.
Working Group Members:- Frances Haigh*, Tony Rickett, Sally Wilton*.
*Denotes present
Affordable Housing

Background information
The National Planning Policy Framework, Horsham District Planning Framework and Strategic Housing Market Assessment all recommend 35% Affordable Housing on new development. Of that 35%, Horsham District Council’s SHMA recommends that 20% is one bedroom housing, 45% is 2 bedroom housing, 25% is 3 bedroom housing and 10% is 4 bedroom plus housing.

In 2011 the breakdown of housing in Horsham was as follows:-
72% home ownership (this was a declining figure)
13% social tenants
14% private tenants
1% shared ownership

Planning application DC/16/1677 includes affordable housing as follows:-
30% local need (5% below the recommended amount)
Of that 30% 5% is contingent on the business park being built. (Reducing the potential to 25% and reducing the overall percentage of affordable housing if land for the business park is used for housing)
Of the proposed 30% 12.7% is affordable rental, 5% is shared ownership, 4.7% is discount market and 7.3% is private rented.

The total area of the site is 231.80 hectares of that 83% is being put to residential land use. (36%) The proportion of the site being offered for affordable housing is extremely small.

•    Whilst only 30% of the total number of houses will be categorised as affordable, it has been identified that this will represent a £5.66 million deficit to the developer which they are willing to carry. However, the amount of affordable housing is less than is considered necessary for the development and the amount is not acceptable.
•    Has a housing needs survey been done and if so what is actually needed?
•    There is anecdotal evidence that 1 and 2 bedroomed properties are required for single occupancy and for downsizing.
•    There is no sheltered housing in the scheme to offer opportunities to older residents.
•    If would appear that higher density and lower cost housing is close to the access road and that there is not a good mix of lower cost and higher priced housing in proximity to each other. This concern raised earlier by the Environment and Infrastructure Group (under Internal road design) was strengthened and reiterated by this group.)

•    Policy SD8 states that 2 primary schools and a secondary school will be included in the planning application. DC/16/1677 indicates “on the school campus on the east of the site will be a secondary school, primary school and special educational needs. Land north of the proposed school campus could be acquired by West Sussex County Council if future expansion became a reality. A second primary school is proposed in the western part of the site.” (Folder 1; Application documents ; page 18 sections 3.4 – 3.43) Clarification is required as to what the developer will actually provide….land or the actual facilities.
•    Depending on the phased building of the development, there is a potential for those in the west of the area to have no definitive route to the larger school campus. Access to the school for those in the extreme west of the site is across the busy access road.

•    It is extremely disappointing that there is a lack of specified commitment to health within the application. Acknowledgement is given to the work of the Clinical Commissioning Group and their effort to ensure that an appropriate health facility commensurate to the size and needs of the local population is provided is supported.
•    Horsham is roughly 20 miles from all of the main hospitals in the surrounding area, therefore, a health facility such as a walk in centre would be of benefit.
•    Concern was expressed regarding all transport links to the hospitals but especially public transport links which are not only difficult, often including many changes, but extremely costly.
•    Consideration should be given to using one of the business units adjacent to the A264 to be used as a fire/ ambulance /Police station for quick and easy access to major roads and Horsham.

•    The community centre should complement existing community facilities in Horsham.
•    Consideration was given to what the community centre may be used for :- toddler groups/ Scouts/ Guides/ Day Centre/information point/CAB/Library/ Small business support. Who would manage the community centre. Could it be the Parish Council?
•    Concern was raised regarding the physical divide that Old Holbrook provides which segregates the new development. The resulting two distinct areas have individual characteristics of lower density and higher density housing. Reassurance was required to ensure that there would be links which would integrate the three areas to create a cohesive community.

General points
•    Gatwick Airport has not objected to the application on the grounds of noise as the development was outside the specified noise contours although it was recommended that potential house buyers were advised that there could be aircraft noise. They had however raised concern about the provision for SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) attracting birds that could be a potential hazard (bird strike). Further concern was raised regarding tall buildings with ledges that could attract birds (again bird strike) and solar panels that could cause glaring and cause difficulty for the pilot.
•    How can the developer be held accountable for delivering what has been promised in the application?
•    Concern that infrastructure is delivered in a timely way so that when houses are built facilities are available as people move into the development.

Further meetings were not scheduled as it was felt that all of the working parties should meet together to bring together the information gathered so far and then work allocated to the working parties from that meeting as necessary.
No professional support was required from the discussions held so far.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 5.10pm.

Notes taken by the Clerk (Pauline Whitehead)