Here is Ifield Brook Meadows from the air – looking Nort.
It is the ‘hidden gem’ of Crawley – in the geographical centre of the ancient Parish of Ifield [with St Margaret’s Parish Church at the top of the picture].
Developers (and ‘associates’) have been determined to build houses in these Meadows for many years. The local community has been equally determined to prevent these Meadows – packed full of Mother Nature’s gifts – from being covered in concrete and tarmac.
After a bitter fight, this ‘hidden gem’ has finally been given Local Green Space [LGS] status – thanks to Crawley Borough Council – thus giving it some protection from predatory developers (and ‘associates’). But there is a problem – a serious one.
One of the ‘associates’ is a government quango called Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) who claim ‘ownership’ of this area by ‘peppering’ it with ugly ‘Private Land’ signs (it’s not Private land, it’s Public land – our land as taxpayers).
In the heat of the bitter battle, HCA destroyed two small bridges which gave access to what is probably the most beautiful riverbank walk in Sussex – along Ifield Brook. This was a powerful, cynical attempt to prevent more walkers and nature-lovers from knowing about, and using, this ‘hidden gem’.
Even though this precious area has been granted LGS protection, HCA are refusing to re-build the two bridges they destroyed – despite a 100-signature community petition.
I had the pleasure and privilege to lead a group of people – mainly children – on a walk around Ifield Brook Meadows. But we were unable to cross the Brook safely to go along “probably the most beautiful riverbank walk in Sussex” because there were no bridges.
There is a CBC Full Council meeting on Wednesday December 13 2017 at 7.30 (?). I plan to ask a Public Question at the start of the meeting. The question will be along the lines of
“What is Crawley Borough Council doing to make this new Local Green Space something for which the local community can be proud?”
If anyone is able to give me ‘moral support’ on Dec 13, it would be enormously appreciated. Thank you.
Richard W. Symonds, The Ifield Society
(This post was originally published in ‘Memories of Crawley’ – a Closed Group on Facebook)