Dear Henry Smith MP
As your constituent, could you please provide reassurance that Homes England are abiding by the proper democratic planning procedures regarding their monstrous ‘masterplan’ for 10,000+ houses West of Ifield (ie the ancient Parish of Ifield), which threatens an environmental catastrophe in both Horsham and Crawley.
This reassurance is sought after an Ifield West resident requested the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000:
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION – RF12906
“As a resident to whom your development would impact upon, could you please send me the results of the Wildlife Survey [which was conducted on Ifield Golf Course] and also the Traffic Survey for the surrounding area”
RESPONSE FROM HOMES ENGLAND – 06/03/2020
“We are able to inform you that we do hold the information that you have requested. However, we rely on Section 22 exemption (where information is intended for future publication under the FOIA)”
PUBLIC INTEREST TEST – FACTORS IN FAVOUR OF NON-DISCLOSURE
“The information…has not yet been allocated as a Local Plan document…Releasing before the Local Plan process has been concluded could prejudice…Crawley Borough Council’s statutory role as Local Authority. If the information were released before the Local Plan has been allocated, it would jeopardise the ability of…the Local Council to respond to changes as they arise, and put the allocation as a Local Plan at risk...Though we acknowledge the public interest in the information requested, we cannot identify a wider public interest in publishing the information ahead of schedule….After careful consideration, we have concluded at this time, the balance of the public interest favours the non-disclosure”.
If the Estates Gazette article is also taken into consideration, you can perhaps understand why I am seeking reassurance that democratic planning rules are being followed by Homes England.
Thank you for giving this email your serious attention.
Richard W. Symonds
2 Lychgate Cottages
Ifield Street, Ifield Village
Crawley, West Sussex
Tel: 07540 309592 (Text only)
“Sounds to me like they [Homes England] are planning on releasing it when it’s too late. Blatant wrongdoing going on. This matter needs to be addressed and pushed as high as possible. They are not following the law just doing as they please” ~ Steve Sellers
“As I see, ‘pushed as high as possible’ – at present – is writing to our MP Henry Smith…as many of us as possible…and BCC’ing the local and national media” ~ Richard W. Symonds
“Refusing Freedom of Information requests appear to be a policy decision by Homes England as they did the same to me late last year when I made an FOI request to them regarding the results of traffic surveys that they had conducted earlier in the year along Ifield Green and Rusper Road. They cited “commercial sensitivity” as the reason for refusing my request. Their response is attached FYI. As a public body they should be ashamed of themselves and I intend putting this to their representative at next Monday’s Talk Ifield meeting at the Elim Church” ~ Aidan Zeall