THE decision not to build a school on Wickhurst Green has been called “more than unacceptable” by a Horsham councilor.
Louise Potter was speaking after the Department of Education informed West Sussex County Council that the 420-place school proposed for development south of Broadbridge Heath had been withdrawn from its Free School Capital Programme.
Ms Potter (Lib Dem, Broadbridge Heath) said: “Residents have always been disappointed with Wickhurst Green.
“The doctor’s office was never built and there was constant disruption from a poorly planned road system.
“Unbelievable, parts of the development are still not complete all these years later.
“Now we’re being told that there shouldn’t be a new school either. This is more than unacceptable.”
A Section 106 legal agreement between County Council and Countryside Homes expires next month.
A community spokesman confirmed that the land would be returned to the developer free of charge.
The news will not sit well with the Lib Dems, who have called on County Council and Horsham District Council to work together to “secure control of the Wickhurst Green site before the deadline”.
A spokesman added: “The land must be kept safe for local residents until either a new school or other community use can be found.”
A petition called Save Wickhurst Green School has been signed by more than 380 people.
Matt Allen (Lib Dem, Broadbridge Heath) said: “This is land set aside as a vital community space many years ago as our village grew.
“Unnecessary delays mean we now risk the land reverting to the developer at great loss to residents.
“This has to be stopped.”
Once the land is returned, however, it’s up to Countryside to decide how to use it.
A spokesman for Horsham District Council said: “Once the option for West Sussex County Council, as the education authority, to take possession of the school grounds expires next month, the land will remain fully with the landowner.
“Any alternative use of the land will require planning permission and every planning application submitted by the landowner will be reviewed by Horsham District Council in consultation with the local community. ”
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https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20296651.wickhurst-green-school-site-reaction/?ref=rss Wickhurst Green School Site Response