New homes in Southgate back gardens get thumbs up

Layout of the three new homes
Layout of the three new homes

Plans for a new road leading to three houses built in back gardens in Southgate have been approved by Crawley Borough Council.

The access road will run between numbers 5 and 7 Southgate Road, while the detached four-bedroom houses will be built to the rear of numbers 5, 7 and 9.

Over the years, similar applications have been approved further along the road, with numbers 11 to 17 giving up half of their lengthy gardens to new homes.

Members of the planning committee heard concerns from neighbours, who were worried about the impact of the new houses on their own homes, as well as pollution from the extra cars the development would bring.

They were supported by Mike Pickett (Lab, Southgate), who said a strong case had been made to refuse the application.

His colleagues did not agree.

Geraint Thomas (Lab, Northgate) said: “I do sympathise with the issues to do with air pollution but I think it’s a matter of degree.

“When you think about other parts of Crawley, there are measured levels of air pollution that are a matter of concern.

“But Southgate Road is not one of our busier roads.

“While there are going to be vehicles going up and down through to these three houses, on a scale of one to ten or from white to black, we’re talking about relatively light grey here.

“On balance we do have a housing need in the town and I can point out a lot of developments that we’ve given permission for that are much more dense than these three.”

The access road will be 4.2m wide, narrowing to only 3m as it passes numbers 5 and 7 Southgate Road, presenting quite a tight squeeze for refuse lorries – not to mention emergency vehicles.

It was an issue raised by Kim Jaggard (Con, Maidenbower), who said: “It looks a bit dangerous to me.”

However, planning officers said they were confident there would not be an issue.