Land put forward to house a permanent travellers’ site is protected by restrictive covenants, it has been revealed.
As part of the Crawley 2029 local plan, Crawley Borough Council proposed land at the former Broadfield kennels, on the edge of Buchan Park, could be used as a permanent site with 10 pitches.
But Land Registry records show that, since February 28 1946, the area has fallen under usage restrictions including ‘no hut caravan or house on wheels’.
The information was highlighted by Natalie Bingham, of Broadfield, who has been campaigning since June and has collected more than 1,000 signatures from people opposing the proposal.
She said: “It was my neighbour who discovered the land registry papers and that all the houses privately owned in this area are bound by the same restrictive covenant.
“We have done so much digging for our campaign. We hope this will prevent any development of the Buchan park site.”
Should the covenant be honoured by the council, it would be the latest set-back in its emerging Local Plan.
Plans to use Ewhurst Playing Fields as a cemetery site are being reconsidered following an outcry from residents.
And there have been further concerns about the proposed use of land in Langley Walk to house travellers.
Natalie added: “I can’t believe the council would be so stupid as to state that this site is the only proposed site in Crawley without verifying that it can actually be used for that purpose.
“If they say they’re going to overturn the restrictive covenant, the Broadfield residents plan to seek Judicial Review.”
A spokesman for the council said: “Restrictive covenants, and other rights affecting land, are not normally taken into account during the planning process, the job of planning is to identify if the land, in principle, is suitable for the proposed use.
“Legal considerations would be considered following planning approval.”
The spokesman added: “The law around restrictive covenants is complex and they can only be enforced in certain circumstances.”