THE ‘GATWICK LOCAL NATURE RESERVE’ EXHIBITIONS – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 21 TO FRIDAY FEBRUARY 28 2020

Photo provided by Derek Stass of Ifield
The Ifield Society will be organising eight ‘Gatwick Local Nature Reserve’ Exhibitions later this month – from Friday February 21 to Friday February 28 2020.
Public Consultation Forms will be available for the Local Plans of both Crawley Borough Council and Horsham District Council.
There will be Maps and Display Presentations of each area within the proposed Gatwick Local Nature Reserve boundary, including the:
1. Ancient Parish of Ifield and The Parish Map Project
2. Ifield Village Conservation Area and St Margaret’s Church [The Parish’s geographical centre]
3. Willoughby Fields Local Nature Reserve [LNR] and ‘The Riverbank Ramblette’
4. Ifield Brook Meadows Local Green Space [LGS] and ‘The Friendly Dragon Ramblette’ 
5. Ifield Wood and ‘The Bluebell Wood Ramblette’
6. Ifield Golf Course & Woodland and ‘The Drughorn Way Ramblette’.
7. Ifield West and Kilnwood Vale Woodland
8. Ifield Mill & Millpond and ‘The Miller’s Trail Ramblette’
9. Bewbush Water Gardens
10. Crawley Greenway and Crawley Health Walks
Venues might include: 
1. Ifield Golf Club in Rusper Road
2. Ifield Barn Theatre in Ifield Village
3. Crawley Library
4. Horsham Library
5. Apple Tree Centre in Ifield Avenue
6. Ifield Community Centre in Ifield Drive
7. Ifield West Community Centre in Dobbins Place
8. Crawley Town Hall
9. Parkside in Horsham
If anyone wants any further information and/or can help to make these Exhibitions happen, please email: info@ifieldsociety.org.uk, or write to Ifield Society Heritage Centre, 2 Lychgate Cottages, Ifield Street, Ifield Village, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 0NN
Thank you.
Ray BALDRY
David J. MOON
Hayley SMITH
Richard W. SYMONDS
Aidan ZEALL
RWS NOTE – FEB 1 2020
One of the central features of the Gatwick Local Nature Reserve Exhibitions [Feb 21-28] is to have ‘A Picture Paints A Thousand Words’ Photographic Gallery in which local people can display their own photographs – taken within the proposed Gatwick Local Nature Reserve boundaries [eg Ifield Brook Meadows, Willoughby Fields etc].
It is hoped people will help to make this happen – some of the photos seen are truly remarkable. Also, any suggestions/comments are invited.
RWS NOTE – FEB 2 2020
A clear, alternative counter-vision must be presented as a matter of urgency – thus the proposed ‘Nature Reserve’ Exhibitions. The Homes England ‘West of Ifield’ is a big idea but a bad idea, dreamed up by bullies who are – in reality – offering a clear, nightmare vision for communities in Crawley and Horsham – especially in Ifield. Homes England are out-of-control, and if the alternative vision of  a Nature Reserve is not presented now, then an environmental catastrophe threatens. Everything about the Homes England ‘West of Ifield’ Plan seems wrong to me.
RWS NOTE – FEB 2 2020
“Green Infrastructure” – ‘A network of multi-functional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality life benefits for local communities’ [Crawley Local Plan 2020-2035 – Consultation Draft – page 217].
Sounds like a Local Nature Reserve to me. 
RWS NOTE – FEB 2 2020
I think there might be a problem with Strategic Policy ST4 of the Crawley Local Plan 2020-2035 Consultation Draft…
 
The proposed Relief Road appears to cut right across the Willoughby Fields Local Nature Reserve?
 
Strategic Policy ST4: Safeguarding of a Search Corridor for a Crawley Western Relief Road 
 
The consultation draft Local Plan Map identifies a Search Corridor for a Crawley Western Relief Road linking the A264 with the A23.
 
This Search Corridor which will be safeguarded from development which would be incompatible with the future delivery of a full Crawley Western Relief Road. The design and route of the Western Relief Road must take account of its impact on residential properties close to the route, the flood plain, the rural landscape, local biodiversity, heritage and heritage landscape assets and visual intrusion. Connectivity by non-vehicular modes of transport between Crawley’s urban neighbourhoods and the wider Sussex countryside should be maintained and enhanced. 
 
Reasoned Justification 1
 
6.18 The Western Relief Road should provide a new strategic road link for traffic from the west, and from Kilnwood Vale and any new development west of Crawley to link directly with the A23 at County Oak serving Manor Royal and Gatwick. This will remove the need for this traffic to come further east into Crawley, travel around all the Bewbush/Broadfield roundabouts to link with the A23, a route which is known to be increasingly congested at peak times. 
 
16.19 The provision of a full Western Relief Road between the A264, west of Kilnwood Vale, and the A23 (North of County Oak) is necessary to reduce existing congestion on the A2220 and A23, remove through traffic from the neighbourhood junctions and residential roads, reduce traffic rat-running on rural routes to Gatwick Airport, and reduce pressure on the M23 Junctions 10 and 11. It will also help mitigate the surface access impacts of growth at the Airport, provide alternatives to help address the impacts from permitted new developments (Kilnwood Vale, Pease Pottage and North Horsham) and from potential future developments on the western side of Crawley. It is anticipated that detailed impacts of further development onto the Crawley road network would be modelled through the Horsham District Local Plan Review process, and will also be included in the Crawley Transport Model Update as part of the Crawley Local Plan Review. 
 
16.20 Without commitment to the construction of a full Western Relief Road between the A264 and A23 (North), all the traffic from any development to the west of Crawley, from permitted schemes and any future proposals which could emerge through the Horsham District Plan Review and/or through planning applications permissions granted as windfalls, is likely to feed into residential roads in Ifield and/or Langley Green and onto the already congested A23 junctions, particularly the Ifield Avenue/A23 junction in the long term. New highways crossing the Ifield Brook Meadows and Rusper Road Playing Fields Local Greenspace would be wholly unacceptable, given the impact this would have on ancient woodland, the biodiversity in the SNCI, the character of Ifield Village Conservation Area, the flood plain and the recreational use of the Local Greenspace. 
 
16.21 A Western Relief Road would enable the prioritisation of connectivity by more direct routes for public transport, cycling and walking into Crawley from any new development to the west, with vehicular traffic having to take a longer routes along the Relief Road. Existing public rights of way should be designed into the road, with safe, accessible and convenient road crossing opportunities provided. New opportunities for walking, cycling and horse riding links should be explored. 
 
16.22 Land was previously safeguarded for a Crawley Western Relief Road as part of the West of Bewbush Joint Area Action Plan (Policy WB23) because, whilst the Transport Assessment for Kilnwood Vale did not demonstrate it was necessary to serve that development alone, it was considered that it might be needed to serve future development west of Crawley, or wider sub regional objectives. 
 
16.23 The proposed Search Corridor is located at the southern edge of land currently safeguarded for a potential future runway at Gatwick Airport. Should safeguarding be removed, then the identification of the alignment for a Western Relief Road through Crawley would form part of the work on an Area-wide Action Plan to identify appropriate land uses across the whole area south of the airport. Ongoing discussions with Gatwick Airport about the alignment of a route will continue, with the aim of minimising the impact on residents living close to the route and the need for land to be compulsorily purchased. 
 
Policy ST4: Safeguarding of a Search Corridor for a Crawley Western Relief Road Consultation Questions: 
 
 Do you agree that a Search Corridor for a Crawley Western Relief Road should be identified in the Local Plan, or not? Why do you think this? 
 
 Do you consider the Search Corridor covers the appropriate area, or where would you suggest it be located?
RWS NOTE – FEB 2 2020
The central feature proposed in the planned Gatwick Local Nature Reserve Exhibitions [Feb 21-Feb 28] is a Picture Gallery [Photographs & Paintings – with full acknowledgements & detailed location) – in which local people can display their favourite Wildlife photos/paintings [ie those in which the location is within the proposed Nature Reserve boundary]. Hopefully there will be prints – someone might want to buy one.