‘Devastating blow’ as 95 homes in Ifield granted on appeal

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

Ifield is set for 95 new homes after a decision by Horsham District Council to reject a planning application was overturned on appeal.

The move to grant planning permission to developer Gladman Developments has been described as a ‘devastating blow’ by a local campaigner.

The developer appealed the decision after councillors turned down the application for 95 homes at Rusper Road in February.

Ifield resident and campaigner Richard Symonds said: “This is devastating news for the local community - especially those in Rusper Road.

“I now fear for the rest of the ancient parish of Ifield, which includes Ifield Golf Club and part of Ifield Brook Meadows. Predatory developers will now circle like vultures.

“If the Horsham and/or Crawley plans are not finally approved, then the devastation is unthinkable.

“Gladman winning the appeal, after Horsham District Council and Crawley Borough Council unanimously rejected it, is a devastating blow for this community, and those of us who campaigned so hard.”

The development site is to the west of Ifield Brook, just outside the Crawley borough boundary.

The planning inspectorate notified residents and council members of the decision on Thursday September 10.

Flooding, landscape character, building in the countryside, and potential impact on the road network were all raised as issues at the planning meeting in February.

A number of residents have spoken out against the proposal. Speaking in January, before the initial council decision, 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.”

Crawley Borough Council also lodged opposition to the plan.

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

In July, councillors rejected another application from Gladman Developments for new homes in Ifield.

No councillors voted in favour of the plan, which would have created 78 properties.

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