£6m for new Crawley housing - what do you think?

Telford Place, Crawley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150408-090717008
Telford Place, Crawley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150408-090717008

News that Crawley Borough Council has won a government grant of more than £6m for two major housing projects sparked a fierce debate among readers

The £6.4m grant from the Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund will help build 620 new homes.

Telford Place in the town centre will receive £2m and £4.4m will be spent on infrastructure that allows more homes to be built at new neighbourhood Forge Wood.

Telford Place will get funding to build an alternative access to the site so 313 new homes can be built instead of 100.

A total of £4,423,280 will be spent on an acoustic barrier and commercial building at Forge Wood.

This will allow the development of 420 homes, including 183 affordable.

These will be a part of the 1,900 homes which make up the neighbourhood. Of these, 760 will be affordable.

Concerns were raised on our Facebook page as to how ‘affordable’ the homes would actually be and why government money was needed by a private developer.

Ian Axeman Greatorex asked: “Why is this money needed? All of this should be provided by the developer and should have formed part of the development plan. Once again, the public purse subsidising private developers.”

Crawley Borough Council member Michael Jones responded: “Both sites, while suitable for development, had physical obstacles which meant that they couldn’t be used to their full potential because of the issues mentioned in the article.

“These were ones that would otherwise have been undeliverable because of unacceptable levels of noise (Forge Wood), or the sheer additional level of work required (Telford Place) would have made the work so expensive that the builders couldn’t make a profit building those additional units. It’s good news for Crawley because now it can go ahead, we are going to be able to house a lot more local people.”

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Tom Terblanche said: “So reading this more unaffordable houses. About half the homes will be available for private sale, with the remainder consisting of shared ownership homes and 87 council homes charged at affordable rents.”

Ian Mulcahy replied: “If they weren’t affordable, they would stay empty. But I bet they don’t.”

Sandie Elisabeth Potoker Fjeld voiced concerns about noise: “I do wonder what kind of acoustic barrier they plan on. As a great big chunk of Forge Wood is right at the end of the runway and under the flightpath.

“There is already noise reducing procedures in place. With the expansion/upgrade to M23 where the traffic will increase as population down this way grows so will the traffic and noise.

“I wonder if they are going to instal proper noise stopping windows, a “wooden/metal fence”, plant trees and shrubs and then hope it will grow thick enough to reduce the noise.... because I’m tempted to think they will choose the cheapest and not for the long term solution.”

Ambi Jones wrote: “Just take away more of our countryside/fields & cut down even more of our trees (people do realise we need these to breath) legit turning into another London.”

Adam Brown gave his summing up of the comments. He said: “So we are all agreed, all we want is lots more housing, at affordable prices, without public subsidies, without using any land, for as many people as possible but without increasing density. Why can’t the council deliver when our demands are so reasonable?”