Residents’ anger over plan for 95 houses

jpco 21-1-15 Residents opposed to the new housing development next to Rusper Road in Ifield (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150120-111519001

jpco 21-1-15 Residents opposed to the new housing development next to Rusper Road in Ifield (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150120-111519001

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Plans to build 95 homes on a ‘bog’ near Ifield will destroy the rural character of the area, a resident says.

Gladman Developments Ltd has made a planning application to Horsham District Council to build on a site to the west of Ifield Brook, just outside the Crawley borough boundary.

Malcolm Bender, of Rusper Road said: “It’s totally out of character and totally unacceptable. There’d be an additional 180 cars on the highway.

“It will totally destroy the rural feel of the area.

“The highways would need to be brought up to a higher standard, with street lights.

“It’s not a flood plain, but the south west corner is under water. It’s a downward slope so when it rains heavily it fills up with water. Your starting point is a bog.”

In written submissions for councillors to consider when determining the application other residents agreed.

Esther Brown wrote: “Our garden becomes very waterlogged during heavy rain and by simply putting a pond or a lake will not help our gardens whatsoever.

“This will just be a reservoir, which will overflow in heavy rain and make our gardens worse, not to mention put our houses at risk as well.”

Jill Bell objected due to the ‘unsuitability of Rusper Road for access, the lack of infrastructure, and pressure on local schools and GP surgeries’.

Earlier this month Crawley Borough Council’s planning committee voted to submit an objection to the plans.

Cllr Peter Smith (Lab, Ifield) pointed out neither Crawley nor Horsham’s Local Plan had identified the land as suitable for development.

He said: “I don’t think there is anything at all about this scheme to like.

“It’s a good example of a predatory and unwanted application.”

He warned further applications for ‘piecemeal incremental development’ could be expected as neither councils’ Local Plan had yet been approved.

The Government planning inspector has recently told HDC to up its 15,000 home 20-year housing target by 2,000 homes.

At least 2,500 of them will be built to the north of Horsham, however, he did not believe further additions to the west of Crawley were suitable.

Horsham District Council’s development control committee is expected to determine the application on February 3.