Residents campaign to save playing fields

jpco-4-12-13 Bewbush residents campaign against using green space for housing (Pic by Jon Rigby)
jpco-4-12-13 Bewbush residents campaign against using green space for housing (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Residents in Bewbush are calling on Crawley Borough Council to drop plans to put their playing fields forward for housing development.

The Crawley 2030 local plan, which outlines where the council would like to see housing development and permanent travellers’ sites, is in the final stages of completion before being submitted to the Government for approval in March 2014.

Two of the sites likely to be included are Bewbush West Playing Field, which the council says can accommodate 48 homes and Breezehurst Drive Playing Field, which has enough space for 100 homes.

However, residents disagree and on Saturday (November 30) they gathered at Bewbush West playing field to show their anger. It follows their petition submitted to the council earlier this year.

Cllr Michael Jones (Lab, Bewbush) was supporting them. He said: “We’ve been told by many people living in Bewbush that they think what has been identified by the council is too much.

“People accept Crawley has a housing need but more affordable homes have been built in Bewbush recently than in any other part of town. Local people only want other areas to take their fair share, and I think that is a reasonable request.

“I am particularly concerned about the proposals to build in the proximity to the Mill Pond, as this is all marshland, and this may increase the flooding risk to this part of Bewbush.”

A council spokesman said: “There is a need for more housing in Crawley. As part of the Local Plan process, council officers have to look at all areas of open space to investigate whether developing on them is possible.

“Residents have been consulted at all stages of the Local Plan process and will continue to be prior to its submission to the Planning Inspector, which is due in March.”

On Monday the Overview and Scrutiny Commission discussed it and tonight (Wednesday December 4) the cabinet is expected to recommend the full council to give the go-ahead for the latest document to go out for a final round of public consultation in January.

For more information on Crawley 2030 go to