Every little helps in housing supply

First we should applaud the application by Tesco to build yet another retail site to expand their incredibly successful business, because such dynamism just adds to all the indicators that Horsham is an equally successful town where ‘everyone’ wants to be (whether they be retailers, house builders, commuters, et al ).

Also I would suspect all pension funds and equity income ISAs include Tesco in their portfolio - which affects many if not most planners for retirement - and so we want Tesco management to be and prove their business dynamism.

The next essential consideration is that our decision makers are equally ‘up to the task’, understand the business world and appreciate they are in situ simply to represent our views and the best interests of Horsham and its existing entities/residents (ie, not think they know best and their personal view reigns supreme ).

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Obviously we cannot and should not stand in the way of progress, but the status quo is not just there to be destroyed and replaced - an even handed debate must be accepted as democratic, and if the argument is not heavily weighed in one direction or the other then maybe common sense suggests the proposal is defeated.

My view is no one retailer should dominate the shopping experience, in fact choice is absolutely vital and must be encouraged.

Another Tesco store will not add anything to the attractions of the locality but will reduce competition by eliminating one or more retail outlets within even only five, or ten, minutes’ radius of the St Leonards site.

The development mooted for the Bishopric may well magnify Horsham’s magnetism as a specialist shopping centre for the benefit of the majority, but yet another Tesco store isolated from the town centre cannot be envisaged as adding to anything other than to their dominance.

However the opinion that our younger generation, who want to begin their adult life within their home town, should have the opportunity to buy/rent accommodation that is appropriate for their circumstances and finances is frequently given widespread support - in other words we need more affordable housing (especially as opposed to even more executive homes that are so very profitable to developers but possibly only affordable by another influx of commuters!).

Another frequently voiced and supported belief is that at some point we must stop spreading concrete around our towns, there is a need to preserve the beauty of our environment and think more imaginatively about providing satisfactory answers that will become homes of choice.

An obvious answer is to include brownfield sites (of any size) within the the new housing plans, and build up a little instead of forever outwards (that is accept three or four floors for modest developments of flats for starter/affordable homes).

Now you may guess the argument against the St Leonards site being used for meeting residential needs - it is too small.

But every little helps!


Fay Road, Horsham