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

Notes of a meeting of all working parties held on 8th November 2016 at 3.30pm at Roffey Millennium Hall

Purpose of the working parties:- three working parties appointed to jointly develop 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 of this meeting:- to review comments put forward following an Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting on 27th October 2016, when an initial submission to Horsham District Council (HDC) was agreed and to move matters forward.

Joint Working Party Members:- Nicholas Butler, Frances Haigh, Roland Knight*, Martin Loates* (left partway through the meeting and extended apologies), Richard Millington, Helen Ralston*, Tony Rickett, David Searle, Ray Turner*, Ian Wassell, Roger Wilton*, Sally Wilton. Resident Mr Laurie Holt. Horsham Cycle Forum representative Ruth Fletcher*. Resident Mr W Cowley attended for part of the meeting and was invited to give comments as part of the working party.

*Denotes present

Issues raised at the Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting on 27th October 2016 included:-
1. Section 106/ Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) contributions.
2. Schools
3. Health facilities
4. Roads
5. Cycling provision
6. Pollution – especially from vehicles held in queues of traffic.
7. How the decision not to build a second runway at Gatwick will affect the application.
8. Installation of major services, in particular sewerage.

1. Section 106/ CIL
Further clarity was needed regarding the Section 106/CIL contributions. It was understood that the Section 106 agreement put in place to mitigate the impact of development, cannot be signed until the application had been decided, therefore, there could still be an opportunity to influence the outcome. The joint working party agreed to ask Cllr. Mrs Frances Haigh if she had any information that she could share and to enlist her help to formulate a question to Horsham District Council to clarify the status of the Section 106 and/or CIL contributions.
Action:- Clerk plus Cllr Mrs Haigh.

2. Schools
It was felt that further clarity was required on the situation with the schools and the Affordable Housing, education, health and community working party was tasked with finding out more information.
Action:- Affordable Housing etc. working party.

3. Health facilities
The joint working party required further clarity from the Horsham, Crawley and Mid-Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to understand their strategy for health care provision in Horsham. It was understood that there was reticence for local GPs to move out of Horsham to the area of the development. The joint working party felt that the Parish Council should have more involvement/ understanding of the process by which the CCG arrived at their conclusions. The joint working party agreed to write to the CCG to find out more about the process and to Holbrook Surgery to ascertain how the new development may impact on their practice.
Action:- Clerk; Affordable Housing etc. working party.

4. Roads
The suggestion of re-routing the A264 north of the development site and providing a natural boundary to the development north of Horsham was well received. It was felt that the traffic surveys that had been conducted were not reflective and there was disappointment that there had not been more options on the road infrastructure to consider. It was disappointing that there had been an emphasis on justifying what had been proposed, rather than using this opportunity to explore and evaluate alternative scenarios that could potentially provide a better long term traffic solution within a much wider context. Whilst it was appreciated that to re-route the A264 would be costly, there could be merit in putting the significant cost of altering the existing roads towards a more ambitious scheme as in the long run this may prove more economically sound and provide a much better long term solution.
In the past there had been a proposal to improve the A24 from the Great Daux towards Dorking following the line of the railway. Could the two schemes be merged?
It was noted that Highway England has put forward comments in which they question if the junction of the A23 at Pease Pottage is fit for purpose. This demonstrates the concern that the developer is not looking at the impact that this development may have in the wider area. The proposed Recycling and Incinerator Facility at Wealdon Brickworks is also likely to have an impact on the wider road network.
It was felt that the Transport working party would benefit from a meeting with WSCC, to understand if any changes to the original application had been proposed and to explore further any professional support the Parish Council may need.
Action:- Clerk; Transport working party.

5. Cycling provision
Horsham Cycling Forum felt that the information regarding cycling provision within the application lacked clarity, was filled with ambiguous terminology that was not consistent and that it glossed over the needs of those with disabilities. There were three key areas of concern:-
i. Crossing the A264 – how the provision of cycleways are phased and the part this plays in the Horsham to Crawley cycleway which forms part of a national Sustrans route.
ii. The links into Horsham and other settlements
iii. The quality of the onsite facilities for cycling which don’t meet national standards for cycling.
The representative from Horsham Cycling Forum kindly agreed to furnish the Parish Council with a summary of the issues and relevant documents which will be tabled at a future meeting.
Horsham Cycle Forum want to promote segregated routes for cars, cyclists and pedestrians as much as possible and would like to see the primary entrances to the schools biased towards access on foot or by bicycle to discourage the use of cars. It was hoped that WSCC would do a cycling level of service audit as part of the development application process to provide a best practice template that could be used in other areas.
Action:- Horsham Cycle Forum.

6. Pollution
The joint working party wanted reassurance that the levels of air pollutants were currently being monitored at all roundabouts on the A264 and that this would continue in the future so that the true impact on air quality could be assessed. It was proposed that the Transport working party take this up with HDC.
Action:- Transport working party.

7. Gatwick
The general feeling was that whilst a second runway was planned for Heathrow, it was likely that air traffic would increase in the future and that there would be a need for a second runway at Gatwick in the future. Residents had noticed an increase in flights, some of which come in quite low over Horsham. There was some concern that experimentation with different air corridors was causing some additional impact on residents.

8. Major services
Whilst the Infrastructure working party had raised concern regarding the installation of large mains within their original observations, it was suggested that they may wish to investigate this further.
Action:- Infrastructure working party

Other observations raised through resident correspondence.
One resident e-mail had been received. This showed support for the re-routing of the A264; made an observation on the increased number of flights that travel over Horsham; and expressed concern regarding the proposed housing mix, stating a preference for cohesion but with a variety of designs which require minimum distances between properties, overlooking to be at a minimum and garden amenity space relative to the size of the property. The resident was disappointed that he was not aware that the latest exhibition had taken place and suggested that a scaled model of the proposed development as part of an exhibition held in a more accessible location within the parish would be appreciated.
The working party supported the resident’s comments and taking up the point made by the resident felt that a scale model would give a greater understanding not only of heights of the proposed buildings, but also would give some tangible concept of the density.

Further meetings and conclusion
No further meetings were arranged at this stage.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 5.05pm.
Notes taken by the Clerk (Pauline Whitehead)

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