“CALL TO GET IFIELD PLAN REMOVED” – WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES
“Call to get Ifield plan removed”, West Sussex County Times, November 12 2020
“Parishioners within the Parish of Ifield call upon the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to intervene to remove Homes England’s £3bn ‘West of Ifield’ masterplan from the Local Plan of Horsham District Council”
Robert Jenrick MP
Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF
Dear Robert Jenrick MP – Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
We parishioners are raising very serious concerns about Homes England’s £3bn ‘West of Ifield’ masterplan within the ancient Parish of Ifield – a priceless environmental asset to local communities within the region – and ask you to intervene to remove the masterplan from Horsham District Council’s Local Plan Site Options.
This imposed ‘one size fits all’ proposal, ill-adapted to the local situation without sufficient consultation, is being squeezed and shoe-horned into a small historic area, rich in character and heritage. Such an approach will cause irreparable damage and create an environmental catastrophe. This will bring about an irreversible decline in the fabric of our communities within the Parish, adverse pressure on infrastructure, destruction of cultural landscape and failing biodiversity.
The land classification, as detailed in the rushed ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper, must designate this ancient area a Protected Zone – thus giving protection to vulnerable species [over 400 at the last count] and open space recreation for the local community, leading to improved physical health and mental wellbeing, improved air quality, noise reduction and improvement in nitrate and light pollution.
Horsham District Council and Crawley Borough Council will be set up to fail if this area is not given ‘Protected’ status, with these local councils unable to provide adequate support for a thriving future economy in the region. The level of housing need must be determined at a local level, based on the specific local context, local input, and local economic and social need.
Threats to wildlife are also a very serious concern to parishioners. The proposed intensive development will sever vital wildlife corridors and arteries which link natural habitats and fragile species across this local geographic ‘gem’ of natural beauty. A much more subtle, sophisticated, integrated and holistic eco-system approach is critical – such as a Local Nature Reserve [LNR] – to prevent further fragmentation of habitats and degradation of landscapes.
Thank you for giving this your consideration.
Richard W. Symonds