New flats approved despite road safety worries

Artist's impression of what the flats could look like. Picture: Crawley Borough Council
Artist's impression of what the flats could look like. Picture: Crawley Borough Council
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Nearly 100 flats in buildings up to eight stories high will be built next to a college after councillors gave the go ahead.

An application to build 90 flats on a car park on Northgate Avenue was approved this week, despite councillors raising concerns over nearby road safety.

The development, which also includes 53 parking spaces and 238 cycle bays, will be built on a car park currently used by the Crawley campus Central Sussex College.

Representing the developer, Arcus PDC, Ian Cooper described the proposed flats as “a welcome addition to the housing stock of Crawley”.

However, councillor Francis Guidera questioned whether the planned roads around the development were safe:

“You have got some issues with it, certainly in terms of traffic safety.

“It is extremely dangerous place to get out of and get into,” he said, pointing out that Northgate Avenue is a 40mph road until you get to the site.

“People do not give way,” he added.

Ifield councillor Peter Smith, who says he often cycles along Northgate Avenue, shared some of Mr Guidera’s concers:

“I cycle along this road for the town down the cycle path. It is a really scary place to be in the middle of that road.”

West Sussex County Council Highways, who were consulted on the application in advance of the meeting, had raised no objections to the development, subject to conditions.

Langley Green councillor Stephen Joyce criticised the plans for having no affordable housing.

“Our policy is 40 per cent and we are not getting any,” he said, referring to the usual requirement of 40 per cent of homes on new developments to be affordable housing.

In the end the application was approved by the committee, with councillors requesting that their saftey concerns be raised with the highways department.

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