Consultation was not rushed, says council

Crawley Borough Council has denied that the latest stage of the Crawley 2029 local plan has been rushed.

Councillors in Bewbush teamed up to call for an extension to the consultation period – which ended on Monday (July 1) – and one claimed the four weeks allowed would leave the plan “open to challenge”.

Labour Cllrs Michael Jones, Chris Cheshire and Marion Ayling have raised “deep concerns” about the proposals, which would see playing fields in Breezehurst Drive and Bewbush West turned over to housing.

They added it would leave Bewbush Green, next to Gasson Wood Road, as the only substantial green space in the neighbourhood.

Cllr Jones said: “I have been contacted by quite a large number of Bewbush residents concerned about these proposals, who are deeply concerned that the majority of their neighbours are unaware of these proposals.”

Cllr Ayling added: “The proposals in the local plan, as they stand, really don’t leave any proper open green space in the neighbourhood.

“I do get the impression that whoever proposed this saw Bewbush as the ‘path of least resistance’ because of the Dorsten Square and initial Breezehurst Drive developments. We’ve been prepared to accept our fair share, but residents are telling us loud and clear this is too much.”

A council spokesman said the consultation would not be extended but added that written comments received before July 12 would be taken into account.

He said: “The consultation has not been rushed and a four-week period is ample for this site allocation stage - just one stage in the much longer Local Plan process.”

On learning that his request had been turned down, Cllr Jones added: “I think the council should be giving this a much more sympathetic hearing. It makes the whole local plan that they came up with much more open to challenge on the grounds of lack of public consultation.”

Log on to www.crawley.gov.uk for more details about Crawley 2029.