Jeremy Quin, the MP for Horsham and Andrew Griffith MP for Arundel and South Downs have responded to the proposed Local Plan published by Horsham District Council on Friday, 1st December.
Jeremy Quin stated “Residents will be shocked by the proposed Plan. While quite rightly, and unsurprisingly, inappropriate sites such as Buck Barn and Adversane have been rejected, for many communities impacted by new building this Plan was not what they had been led to expect.
"I am also sceptical about infrastructure promises being made. Having fought hard to secure Bohunt Horsham I know how important it is to get all the facts right and I am all too aware of Plan promises – such as a new school at Wickhurst Green – which sound good on announcement but are not delivered in practice.
"Most immediately I hope the Council will test the conclusion of the Liberal Democrat administration on Water Neutrality.
"The Plan confirms that Water Neutrality is an issue that the Inspectorate will be bound to take into consideration in determining housebuilding numbers.
"The Government have confirmed that under Building Regulations new houses are set maximum consumption rates of 125 litres a day per person. A more stringent optional technical standard can reduce this to 110 litres per day.
"While a Local Authority can propose a lower figure this needs to be tested by the Inspector.
"Why has HDC settled on 85 litres per person of mains water per day? This is equivalent to no more than one shower per day for each resident: what about drinking water, loo flushing, the washing machine? Even with extensive use of “grey” water how will this work in practice? This lower number generates far more housing and is much lower than even the more stringent proposals being considered by the Government.
"Pilots conducted by Crawley Borough Council demonstrated that the average per capita consumption per day of houses tested was 135 litres. After the introduction of flow regulators this was reduced on properties that were part of the pilot by an average of 31 litres to 104 litres per day. But where is the evidence base that 85 litres per day per person (a reduction of 37 per cent from the Crawley starting-point) is deliverable at a time when demand for water is expected to increase?"
"HDC have huge resources at their disposal to thoroughly test these assumptions: residents and the Inspector will need to see the evidence.
"The Liberal Democrats nationally are demanding a massive increase in house-building but Horsham should not be made the victim of these policies.”
Andrew Griffith MP added “The local Members of Parliament were not consulted upon this plan in advance, so I am just working through the detail and will want to listen to the communities that I represent – many of whom have had their own neighbourhood plans held up by Horsham District Council.
"Nationally, the Lib Dems have the highest house-building target of any Party and I don’t want to see them risk precious environments for nature like the Arun valley wild brooks because they are trying to cut corners on what a properly water-neutral home looks like.”