Questions to ask

Road and Rail, Housing for Crawley and Brighton. Out-Commute and Congestion.

Local GP Surgery. Dentists and Pharmacies. Hospitals and emergencies.

Pre, Primary, Secondary and Further education. Day and community care facilities.

Job types – Science and Technology or Industrial manufacture and Retail?

Economics over environment? Wildlife ecosystem and tourism or Housing? The effect on the landscape for future generations.

Listed buildings, Roman and Neanderthal heritage. Ancient woodlands and habitat.

Carbon offsetting or genuine eco build? Energy sources, carbon footprint, renewable build with self-sustainability.

Ability to deliver on promises. Track record and experience of such a build. Funding source and effect of Covid-19.

Some reference material as food for thought!

HDC record on Climate change

HDC’s performance in meeting climate change.
  • Will this development mean more traffic on our road and if so how much?
    (3500 houses, with 1.5 cars min, each house having min 4 trips per day = min 21000 more cars per day at Adversane)
  • What types of vehicles will we see?
    (Proposed are cars, retail delivery trucks, HGV’s for Industrial units as well as regular service vans and vehicles).
  • What safety enhancements will there be?
    (proposed new roundabout and through road. still at 40-60 mph)
  • Will there be more commuters at the train station?
    (Yes, as most of the people coming to Horsham distract commute, current figure is 60%, house affordability will be a factor)
  • Will there be new parking at Billingshurst train station to accommodate?
    (No additional spaces proposed)
  • Will there be cycle ways and paths?
    (Only in the housing estate as far as we are aware)
  • Will there be a train station at Adversane?
    (This is proposed but Network Rail is unaware of proposal and is highly unlikely to stop trains 1.5 miles from next station).
  • What additional investment will the site promoter be making to ensure there is sufficient water and sewerage capacity for the new homes and work places?
    (Adversane has small tributaries that feed the tidal Arun and the are proposed floods in winters like 2019/20. Sewage treatment is not close to Adversane and would have to be built. Not mentioned in Our Place website)
  • Electricity and water infrastructure is not sufficient at Adversane, where will it come from?
    (To power a New town they will have to build substations and water will have to be plumbed in. Both may cause major upheaval on the A29 for many months. No mention of sustainable/renewable power, just offsetting its purchase)
  • Flooding – What impact will 3,500 new houses and work places for 3,500 employees have on the potential for flooding in the Adversane area?
  • How much will the site promoter be investing in new transport infrastructure, such as improvements along the A29?
  • What discussions have had with Network Rail about them including in their programme a new crossing over the railway line?
  • Bus Services – What plans do you have to enhance bus services to Billingshurst and Horsham?
  • Railway services – Many trains going into London at peak times are already at or near capacity. What discussions have you had with the Train Operating Companies about increasing the length/frequency of trains?
  • The site promoter mentions on their website ‘carry out a comprehensive engagement process with local residents’ How much of this has been done already and what is the schedule?
    (No interaction with local residents so far, suggesting dis-engagement at the start of the process)
  • Site promoter states that the development will provide ‘A health centre providing a new GP surgery, dentists and social care provision’ Which phase of the development will this be done?
    (Developers tend to use these words to gain planning, but reality is that they are not bound to provide such facilities. Often these requirements would be aligned to house sales which work in favour of the developer).
  • Who will manage these facilities?
    (The take-up by authorities such is health or education is never guaranteed, and often agreements are not reached. Needs to be done early in the programme).
  • With Billingshurst and proposed development we are still 30 min away from emergency services, will the site provide some form of A&E?
  • What is provided in ‘Social care provision’? Will this be public or private funded and who will run this service?
    (Website states new and existing residents, but not clear which this involves, local councils unlikely to fund)
  • Website states new and existing residents, how far does this stretch?
    (As it is farmland it could be argued there are no existing residents, then how far is the exclusion zone)
  • Deliver Health and Well-being centre in Phase One, is that true?
    (This was on the original five phase proposal but no longer on website)
  • Site promoters website states; ‘covering nursery through to sixth form’, is this agreed/discussed with educational authority?
  • Who will run the schools? Are they private or public sector?
  • Will those providing the teaching be living locally?
    (Most school teachers commute to work either due to cost of location or transient nature of teaching)
  • Not clear on Promoter plans where such schools would be located?
    (Initial website showed five phases, Primary school on phase 2).
  • How will the schooling plans stated as up to ‘sixth form’ affect ‘The Weald?
    (Does it add competition, ease burden or dilute quality)
  • Will there be green space provision for schools such as playing fields?
    (Not mentioned in plans)
  • Will there be full and complete consultation with education providers and local residents prior to planning approval to ensure proposal is realistically delivered?
    (This should be a commitment prior to Regulation 19 and not post planning approval)
  • Assuming pre-school, primary and secondary schools are created how will students get there as not all students will be local?
    (Additional traffic with buses, deliveries, drop-offs, pick-ups school events and staff commute)
  • Where is Our Place’s evidence to support their claim they could achieve one new job per home?(creation of 3500 jobs is impressive job creation, how realistic is this?)
  • How many of the 3,500 new jobs will be taken by new town residents and how many new town residents will be commuting to London and other employment centres?
  • How many will drive and how many will go by train and bus?
  • Will the jobs be low grade (Industrial/manufacturing and retail or science and technology or Rural and agriculture? Proposal suggest low grade business units)
  • How will you ensure that local residents will not be priced out of the job opportunities?
    (Ideally minimal commute and local employment will be key to the proposed vibrant community)
  • How many companies have the site promoter talked to regarding interest in locating to Kingswood?
  • What impact will the new town plan have on existing key habitats and Ancient Woodland and on the barbastelle bats, which roost in the Mens Woodland to the west?
  • What plans do the site promoter have to protect key landscape and wildlife features?
  • When creating 3500+ houses and industrial units, what is the ‘fallout zone’ at which wildlife remain un-affected by the development?
    (Suggest this may be 0.5 miles beyond development perimeter)
  • What impact will the new town plans have on soil quality, mineral resources and water resources?
  • What is the likely effect on surrounding areas with sewage and run-off from the development site?
  • What impact will the extra cars used by people living in the 3,500 new homes and the 3,500 employees have on levels of air pollution in the Adversane area?
  • How much noise pollution will the development create daily?
  • How much light pollution will the development create daily?
  • What impact will the new town plan have on the settlement pattern and the wider rural character of the area?
  • What impact will the new town plan have on the area’s archaeology/cultural heritage and the nearby Adversane Conservation Area?
  • Adversane has large proportion of statutorily listed buildings, what will be the effect on them with massive traffic increase, vibration etc?
  • The A29 (Stane Street) corridor, which is of known importance for Roman archaeology, putting a roundabout on a straight Roman road would change its archaeological heritage would it not?
  • Adversane forms a key part of the one of the most important Neanderthal
    sites in Western Europe. Beedings Castle above North Heath was the site
    of a Neanderthal encampment and Adversane was an important hunting
    area for the settlement being in line of site of the encampment. Are the site promoters aware that they would be destroying a major historical asset?
  • Site promoter website states ‘carbon-neutral as a minimum and designed with green infrastructure at its core’ What is carbon neutral?
    (This is normally deemed carbon offsetting where promoter buys electricity from a green source or plants trees in outer Mongolia. True carbon neutrality can never be reached on-site, suggest this is sales-speak unless promoter can show a sustainable carbon plan)
  • What is ‘Green infrastructure at its core’?
    (It is already a green site, does this mean that not all the trees will be felled, or there will be some park land?)
  • What is the plan for a ‘Climate change ready’ sustainable New Town?
    (Any large development should have eco credentials such as Solar, Wind, Geo-thermal, Recycling, Building materials, insulation etc. This needs to be a pre-requisite of Regulation 18, not 19 or beyond)
  • How can you state carbon-neutral when you would immediately destroy a green-site and have carbon producers (diggers, cars, houses, industrial) from day one?
    (This is an unqualified statement by the promoter and would be deemed misleading by trading standards….surely!)
  • Creating the New Town would create how much damage to the environment in respect to Carbon Tons?
    (While no precise measurement exists, it is estimated that the carbon pathways for a ‘Good’ footprint is 4 tons per person. In the US this is 16 Tons. Therefore 3500 x 2 (persons min) x 4 (tons) is a measure at minimum).
  • What is the estimated price of an average 3-bed family home in the new town?
    (Horsham district is deemed one of the highest priced areas for affordable housing in the country)
  • Can the site promoter explain how the proposal for a new town of 3,500 houses on 150 hectares of greenfield land with few public transport connections is in line with the Council’s and Government’s sustainability policies?
  • How many new homes has the site promoter (Our Place) actually built previously?
    (From our research, all we can find are 22 flats in Spitalfields and a small development in Norwich)
  • How many new homes does the site promoter expect to build each year? How many of them will be affordable?
  • The Coronavirus and Brexit has had a massive effect on financial markets and job security with housing sale slumped, what are the recalculated projection of sales from the site promoter?
    (London and the south east are expected to be hardest hit, with more surveyors predicting sales will fall rather than rise (at 41 per cent and 40 per cent respectively). This could be worst house sales for 20 years. Do not build empty houses or leave it as a part build site)
  • Lots of developments in the HDC region, do we know how many un-occupied houses remain?
  • Many houses are bought by speculators and people using then as investments, driving up the price and reducing availability. How does the site promoter plan to show that they are different from a standard developer?

Articles and Statistics

Transport for new Homes report

Click on the report below as it is one of the most interesting studies into the proposed ‘Garden Towns/Cities’ and why they don’t work, why the Vision is great but an urgent study needs to assess why they are failing.