The leader of Crawley Borough Council has said the authority does not support plans to build more than 10,000 homes west of Ifield.
Homes England, the government’s housing agency, wants to develop the massive site to include 35 per cent affordable housing, five primary schools, two secondary schools and a western relief road.
In its strategic plan for 2018-2023, Homes England said the aim was to ‘begin major infrastructure work and start construction of the first 200 homes in Ifield by 2022/23’.
While the new homes would butt on to Crawley’s Ifield neighbourhood, the land falls on Horsham’s side of the boundary, meaning the district would be the decision maker on any application which eventually came forward.
It’s a familiar story for Crawley. The ongoing Kilnwood Vale development is just south of the proposed site.
Responding to a question from a member of the public at a recent meeting who asked if the council supported the Homes England plans, leader Peter Lamb said:”We do not support the application.”
Mr Lamb added that Crawley had ‘a number of concerns that we’ve related to Homes England about the proposals which have yet to be addressed in any submission that we’ve seen’.
A council spokesman added: “Whatever the outcome we will work tirelessly to ensure that Homes England and Horsham District Council are aware of how the development will impact upon our town and our residents.
“We’d urge anyone with an interest in these proposals to have their say at Homes England’s consultation events over the coming months.”
Ken Glendinning, head of strategic land at Homes England, said: “We are proposing three sustainable new neighbourhoods on land to the west of Ifield.
“The new neighbourhoods will create homes where they are most needed, new roads, schools, improved green spaces and other facilities to set up a vibrant, and attractive new community.
“We take a long-term approach to creating fantastic places, investing early in infrastructure and with a track record of delivery.
“We will be holding a full consultation and engagement programme in the autumn.”
If the proposals get the go-ahead, the first phase would see 3,250 new homes built, with potential for the remaining 6,750 to come forward over the next 15 to 20 years.
To find out more about the proposals, log on to www.gov.uk/government/consultations/west-of-ifield
The Ifield Society will be holding another ramblette on Saturday October 12 starting at 11am at the Plough, returning at 1pm. All are welcome, including dogs.
A petition has been started against the development and has been signed by more than 1,000 people.
Meanwhile late last month Homes England sent information leaflets through the post to residents in the area.
It said: “We have a long-term commitment to placemaking, investment in infrastructure and a track record of delivery.
“We have the capacity to invest in the lives of residents over the space of several local plan periods.
“Our outlook and resources have unlocked sites elsewhere in the country which were previously stalled, delivering high quality places.”