Latest developer plan: 500 homes in ‘Copthorne Village West’

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Another plan has been unveiled to build hundreds of new homes in Sussex, this time on land off the M23 corridor near Copthorne, on the border of Mid Sussex and Crawley.

Property developer St. Modwen claimed today (Wednesday) that Copthorne would secure new allotments, playing fields, land for a potential new school and could net a ring-fenced sum of up to £2m for Worth Parish to spend in the local area, if land to the west of Copthorne is included in the village’s emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

These are just some of the benefits St. Modwen, which says it is the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, will be communicating at a public exhibition on its plans for up to 500 homes to the west of Copthorne later this month.

It wants locals to support a single development site for inclusion in their neighbourhood plan rather than opting for what St. Modwen says is the ‘more damaging option of multiple ad hoc sites’ in and around the village.

Colin Darby, planning manager at St. Modwen said: “We want as many people as possible to come to our exhibition and to tell us their views on our proposals for development to the west of Copthorne. We are keen to hear how the benefits we are able to bring, in terms of amenities and open space, can provide what the village actually needs and wants.

“We will also be explaining how funding, unlocked from our scheme, could be invested back into the Copthorne community.

“Worth Parish Council has already indicated that the parish could take up to 500 new homes, including affordable homes, over the next 20 years. St. Modwen can accommodate all of this requirement as part of its scheme - Copthorne Village West - and still have over half of the site left as open space for use by local people.

“We are keen to explain why a single sustainable development is so much better for Copthorne, for a whole host of reasons, than trying to cram small pockets of development into any and every bit of land in and around the periphery of the village.”

St. Modwen’s draft masterplan for the land to the west of Copthorne shows development on less than half the site and the public exhibition will explain why a single development included in the neighbourhood plan will:

- preserve the character of the village and its sense of openness – unlike the impact from multiple infill sites;

- deliver new allotments, playing fields, enhanced woodland and meadows;

- help minimise the volume of traffic using the village roads as Copthorne Village West would have a single main access off the A264;

- net the parish around £2m via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - the new development tax to pay for infrastructure – this will be in addition to a contribution of around £6 million for the wider district whether that is for education, additional health services, new infrastructure or other amenities;

- ensure the £2m ring-fenced for the parish could be used how the parish sees fit.

Mr Darby continued: “Local people need to be aware that it is only developments included in the neighbourhood

plan that can guarantee 25% of the CIL payments ring-fenced to the parish.

“Given that Copthorne needs to provide new housing, our view is that that should be planned and coordinated and that the local community should get the financial benefits and the correct infrastructure to support it.

“We are keen to understand local priorities and ensure that Copthorne Village West supports and enhances the existing village.”

Ii a press release issued today, St. Modwen says it is aware that separation from Crawley is important for residents and Copthorne Village West will be sensitively designed to protect key views and preserve Copthorne’s character.

The public exhibition is being held over two days:

Friday 12 July 2013

Venue: Delmar Morgan Centre

Copthorne Bank, Copthorne RH10 3QX

Time: 4pm – 8pm

Saturday 13 July 2013

Venue: Copthorne Village Hall

Copthorne Bank, Copthorne RH10 3RE

Time: 10am – 2pm