Anger over shortage of new services

A resident says councils have failed to ensure vital services are provided to serve families in new homes.

Alex Ross says the situation means that the Broadbridge Heath and Wickhurst Green developments now risk what he calls “negative impacts” on the local community.

According to Mr Ross Freedom of Information inquiries and a review of the plan on housing have revealed  that none of the key “infrastructure” developments promised have yet to be delivered, despite hundred s of homes being built.

He points out that Horsham District Council’s “Masterplan” for development stated that it would have a “negative impact” on the local area if the additional services and infrastructure were not delivered.

Mr Ross, from Braodbridge Heath, says local residents are now urging the Local Government Ombudsman and Horsham Council to look into the development to determine why the promises in the Masterplan have not been delivered.

He points out that the 2008 Masterplan committed the council and developers to building a new school, a GP surgery, a new village centre, a fire station, new leisure facilities, shuttle bus routes and to create an “exemplar development for sustainable building.”  He said: “None has been delivered and most remain unfunded.”

The Land West of Horsham Plan outlined the need for additional primary school provision if housebuilding was to go ahead. But West Sussex County Council has now confirmed it has no budget with which to build the new Shelley School.

He says the existing primary school in Broadbridge Heath has no spare places in any year group, meaning there is no local primary provision for families moving into Wickhurst Green. As a result, local children in Broadbridge Heath will now have to travel into Horsham or as far as Rudgwick school.*

They include this breakdown by Mr Ross.

The plan promises…

The reality is

A new neighbourhood centre and community facilities to include parish office and shops

None have been built

A new fire station constructed east of the A24

West Sussex confirms there are no such plans or funding

A medical centre for a five doctor practice

No plans or funding exist at this time

Significant financial contributions to be sought from the development towards the enhancement of stategic sports and leisure facilities

There is no direct contribution being made to the leisure centre

A development which is exemplar in terms of the use of sustainable construction techniques and renewable and low carbon energy supply

None of the homes was constructed with renewable energy, waste-water recycling or highly sustainable/ recycled materials

Mr Ross said: “This was a controversial development, with up to 1000 houses on green field sites.  The council worked hard to present a persuade residents that it would be an exemplar development, with no negative impact on the local area. 

“The opposite is true.  None of the services promised have been delivered and the houses have nothing that makes them stand out as sustainable.  The failure to deliver the promised school, GP surgery, public transport and community facilities means the area now has thousands of new residents, with no additional services. “

“It raises serious questions about the council’s ability to manage such a project and there should be an investigation to determine whether the failure to deliver the services was down to incompetence, or if the public was misled in the marketing of this development.”

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