Fears Sussex village is 'fast becoming a deprived urban area'

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Fears are being raised over a West Sussex village ‘fast becoming a deprived urban area.’

The concerns are being voiced after it was revealed this week that land in Billingshurst is being earmarked for 650 new homes.

The land – east of the village – is one of four sites allocated for thousands of new homes in Horsham District Council’s draft Local Plan.

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But members of Billingshurst Community Partnership say they fear that local infrastructure could not cope with the increase in population and say the council has ignored views of the local community.

Land west of Billingshurst has been earmarked for 650 new homes in Horsham District Council's draft Local PlanLand west of Billingshurst has been earmarked for 650 new homes in Horsham District Council's draft Local Plan
Land west of Billingshurst has been earmarked for 650 new homes in Horsham District Council's draft Local Plan

Community Partnership chairman Denise Campbell, in a letter to the council, said there had been considerable housing growth in Billingshurst over the past 20 years.

But, she said: "There has been no additional community infrastructure benefit by way of additional facilities for our community for the past 15 years. It is not enough for a developer to give empty promises and only state intention to provide community infrastructure.”

She said that developers had previously promised a new primary school and dentist for the village. “Both of these have yet to materialise.”

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And, she added: “Billingshurst was once a rural village with poor services and facilities. It is fast becoming a deprived urban area.

"A community with 10k people – and rising – expects its district council and councillors to seek the best deal for the community.”

She said there were better community infrastructures and facilities being offered by alternative development proposals for land west of the village.

All members of Horsham District Council will decide on the Local Plan at a meeting on December 11.