Latest plans for homes and employment space at Forge Wood approved

New employment building as part of the Forge Wood development
New employment building as part of the Forge Wood development

The development of Crawley’s 14th neighbourhood continues apace after approval was given for a 350m long ’employment building’ in Forge Wood.

The building, which will stand between the railway line and 169 homes still to be built in the north east of the site, will be 10m high and split into 14 units. It will be red brick with blue cladding.

At a meeting of Crawley Borough Council’s planning committee on Tuesday (September 25), members were told the building would act as a noise barrier between the homes and the railway’s goods yard.

A second application, covering the homes, was also submitted.

They will be made up of 58 houses and 111 flats in three-storey blocks, with 41 per cent being affordable.

Several concerns were raised by committee members, including the numbers of lorries which would be likely to pass by on their way to the employment units.

There were also concerns that six flats in one block would have sealed windows in one of their bedrooms ‘to protect them from noise’.

When it came to the size of the gardens, Kim Jaggard (Con, Maidenbower) pointed out that 54 per cent of the homes would have gardens which fell short of the guidelines.

She also asked why none of the new homes would be fitted with solar panels, adding: “We don’t seem to be looking at other alternatives for electricity production. We have all these roofs – why aren’t we putting something in when we build them?”

The applications were approved.

Geraint Thomas (Lab, Northgate) said: “It’s been a long hard job and I appreciate the efforts that have gone on over the past few years by the professionals.”