34,300 new houses in Horsham District over next 20 years

It has taken 1,000 years for the area now occupied by Horsham District to grow to 55,035 households, as recorded in the 2011 census. Since then a few thousand additional houses have been built, however this is nothing compared to what the government wants built in Horsham in their proposed changes to the planning system.

Modifications to the standard method for assessing local housing need (algorithm) proposed in the government’s “Changes to the current planning system consultation”, would see Horsham District required to deliver 1,715 new houses a year, resulting in an increase of 34,300 over the next 20 years. At this rate of development, within 32 years we will have built as many houses in Horsham as over the last millennia.

The following infographic details what the proposed changes will mean for the Horsham District in the years ahead.

The proposed changes are in order for the government to try and achieve an annual UK wide house building target of 337,000 per annum, with those areas that are perceived to be less affordable, receiving massively inflated targets. Just like the A level algorithm, it “makes sense” on paper, but the local impact on the ground is ridiculous. Specifically, the Horsham target of 1,715 reflects an increase of 225% over the actual housing requirement of 759 per year, to supposedly address “affordability”. The government appears to believe that by massively overbuilding in some areas, you will bring house prices down, but this is something that no housebuilder will ever do. The large and small developers will only build what they believe can sell, at prices that show a good profit, which is the same for any business. Does the government want to see many homeowners in the Horsham District going into negative equity, which would be the result if their imposed numbers were built?

It is of vital importance that Horsham District residents and other interested parties respond to the “Changes to the current planning system” consultation before 11:45pm on 1 October 2020. Residents should also write to their local MP. It is likely that the proposed changes to the standard method for assessing local housing would need to be applied to the Horsham District Local Plan currently being finalised.

View and respond to the consultation:


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