10,000 new homes in the West of Ifield is a development too far - Duncan Crow

The supply of housing has not kept up with the population growth of the last 25 years.

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 2:46 pm

While we do need more housing, this does not mean that all proposed housing developments in all locations are suitable.

Everything must be judged on its merits and brownfield sites and empty office buildings should always be the priority for development.

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Duncan Crow

Despite resistance from Labour councillors, we’ve been very successful in redeveloping office blocks in the town centre into new housing for local people. We still have housing need, but one proposed development is too large and raises serious concerns about its impact on the western half of Crawley and Ifield in particular.

This Homes England proposal for up to 10,000 new homes west of Crawley will urbanise a huge swathe of our neighbouring countryside, remove Ifield Golf Course, and risks intolerable pressure on our already busy roads and on our public services such as GPs.

While our MP and some Crawley councillors have spoken out against this proposal, it’s about time that Crawley Borough Council took a formal position, so I’m very pleased that Ifield’s only current Conservative councillor, Cllr Josh Bounds, has tabled a motion that will be debated at next week’s Full Council meeting on Wednesday evening.

I will be seconding Josh’s motion and we’re hoping to get support from every councillor to strengthen Crawley’s hand as much as possible. Our motion reads: “Crawley Borough Council formally states its strongest possible opposition to the Homes England proposal to build up to 10,000 new homes to the west of Ifield/Crawley.

In doing so, this council instructs the Chief Executive to write to both Homes England and Horsham District Council on behalf of the council’s entire membership, to set out the full range of concerning impacts for Crawley and the environment, including infrastructure pressures, that this development would create, and to seek both maximum mitigation measures and ongoing influence for Crawley throughout the entire process, in order to protect Crawley’s interests.”