New gypsy and travellers’ site planned for Billingshurst

Horsham Advertiser pictures 2013 ENGSUS00120130503091800
Horsham Advertiser pictures 2013 ENGSUS00120130503091800

A new gypsy and travellers’ site south of Billingshurst accommodating 15 pitches is being proposed.

Horsham District Council has to put together a policy both to meet the backlog of sites and meet the needs for the next 15 years.

Back in April and June the council consulted on 13 potential gypsy and traveller sites across the district, with 393 representations received from 321 individuals or organisations.

As a result four sites have been dropped and a new location at the former Bromeliad Nursery, in Marringdean Road, Billingshurst has been included for 15 pitches.

The revised document is set to be approved for another round of consultation starting in December by Horsham District Council’s Cabinet next week (Thursday November 23).

According to an officers’ report: “These proposals are solely for consultation and do not form council policy.”

Access issues at Fryern Park in Storrington, and landscape concerns Parson’s Field, in Pickhurst Lane near Pulborough, has led to both being dropped, while the Hurston Lane site in Storrington has also been discarded due to its proximity to the waste water treatment works.

A fourth site, land at Rowfold Nursery, in Coneyhurst Road, Billingshurst, is no longer available as gypsy or travellers’ accommodation due a certificate of lawful use being granted.

The largest number of comments, 104, were about Smithers Rough, Rudgwick, but it is still included as the council said after further work the access has been found to be acceptable.

Road safety concerns, flooding issues, and the distance from the village’s services and facilities were all raised by residents.

Itchingfield Parish Council raised concerns about two sites, with more ‘full’ pitches at Greenfield Farm proposed and permission for currently unauthorised pitches at Kingfisher Farm.

Meanwhile 22 residents wrote in to object to the inclusion of Northside Farm in Burnhouse Lane, Rusper, however the council pointed out this was not a new site, but converting three pitches with personal occupancy pitches to ‘full’ pitches.

If agreed by cabinet members the consultation would run from Friday December 1 to Friday January 26, 2018.