No completion on sale of golf course for development

Homes England has so far failed to buy land at Ifield Golf Club, which forms part of its plans for 10,000 homes west of Crawley.

Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 12:02 pm
Ifield Golf Club, Rusper Road, Ifield Crawley West Sussex. Pic Steve Robards SR1919283 SUS-190608-134948001

Rather than giving those opposed to the massive development a reason to celebrate, the lack of a sale is little more than a blip for the government’s housing agency, which still aims to buy the 160-acre site.

Project director Ken Glendinning said: “Homes England were unable to complete the acquisition before the end of our financial year.

“The acquisition will be included in our future investment plans.

“The development at West of Ifield will take over 30 years to complete, so the current delay, should not have a long-term impact on the provision of much-needed local homes.”

If the scheme gets the go-ahead, it would add three new neighbourhoods to the 14 that already make up Crawley, with 35 per cent of the new homes classed as affordable.

There would be primary and secondary schools, community facilities, up to 50 per cent green space and a western relief road.

There has been vocal opposition to the development, with Crawley Borough Council openly opposing the plans.

The scheme rests on whether Horsham District Council will allocate the site for housing in its Local Plan, which will guide development in the area up until 2036.

While the draft plan is scheduled to be consulted on this autumn/winter,  leader Ray Dawe has written to the Secretary of State asking for ‘more flexibility’ with the timetable given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well. With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: “Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role.”

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

In addition, please write to your MP urging the Government to provide some additional financial support for local newspapers and their websites like this one and ensuring that supermarkets continue to stock them. I cannot stress enough how important such an intervention would be.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.