Initial plans for the first phase of a massive new housing estate on land north of Horsham were presented by developers at two drop-in events.
Almost 700 residents, councillors and community group representatives visited the Holbrook Club on November 5 and 9 to find out about plans for the new community on land north of the A264.
Developers Legal and General gave an update on ‘important infrastructure’ which a spokesman said would be delivered before any homes are built.
The firm asked visitors to input into future plans for community facilities in the first phase, including the village centre, sports hub and bridge for pedestrians and cyclists over the A264, he added.
Legal and General are still inviting comments on its project website at www.landnorthofhorsham.co.uk until 5pm on Friday November 29.
Sebastian Balcombe, of Legal and General said: “We want to thank everyone who attended our drop-in events and provided feedback on our plans for the first phase.
“The comments we received are extremely valuable as we work towards creating a sustainable development that supports local needs and delivers social and economic benefits for Horsham.
“Our ambition is to deliver a sustainable community that is welcoming, inclusive and built to last and the input of local people will help us achieve this.”
He said there were many ‘positive conversations’ about the importance of new homes and said many residents were ‘excited’, but added that he recognised ‘some residents have concerns about the scale of change’.
Sebastian said: “We are committed to managing this with the least possible disruption for the existing community by providing the infrastructure needed to support it.
“We want local people of all ages and backgrounds to help shape our proposals, so please do continue to share your comments with us.
“This is very much the start of detailed conversations on the plans and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the community as our plans develop.”
The site has planning permission for 2,750 homes, 500,000 square feet of new employment space, an education campus - the new Bohunt Horsham school - along with a sports hub and new pedestrian, bicycle and road connections.
The spokesman said major road improvements, which are key to the school’s opening will be delivered in the next 18 months with construction starting on an improved roundabout at the A264 and Rusper Road junction.
Once the work, which is expected to be finished in autumn next year, is finished, improvement work will begin on Rusper Road north of the A264.
The spokesman said: “Legal and General is proposing changes to the approved plans for this part of Rusper Road to create a greener route, retain more existing trees and hedgerows, and create better footpath, cycle and bridleway links. “The works are due to finish in early 2021.
“Some disruption is to be expected but every effort will be made to minimise this through the phasing of the works.”
The first phase covers either side of Rusper Road and is set to deliver around 1,000 homes over the next five years, with the target of people first moving in in late 2021.
Subject to detailed planning approvals, the first phase will be delivered over the next five years, the firm said.
The spokesman added: “The whole development is expected to take at least 15 years to be completed with further consultation, including more events, taking place on each element of the plans.”
For anyone who wasn’t able to attend the events, more information is available to view at www.landnorthofhorsham.co.uk. The Legal & General development team can also be contacted on 020 7323 3544 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org