5th November 2020
Thank you for your correspondence from wildlife and traffic surveys undertaken in [sic] regarding to the West of Ifield. Please accept my apologies for the amount of time is [sic] has taken to respond to your constituent’s query.
Homes England proposals for the land West of Ifield are still being developed. We’ve engaged in a number of activities aimed at obtaining and analysing information on various aspects of the land associated with the site. These will ultimately inform our final proposal s [sic] and design response.
At the moment, Homes England are not in a position to be able to share the outcomes of the individuals [sic] surveys your constituent highlighted.
This information will, of course, be made public in due course either as evidence submitted in support of the Local Plan allocation (should the land be taken forward by Horsham District Council as a preferred allocation) or as part of the statutory environmental assessment and transport assessment that would accompany any future planning application .
In the meantime, if I can be of any further assistance to you or your constituents, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me again.
Project Director – Large Sites
50 Victoria Street
0300 1234 500
FROM THE ARCHIVES
RWS CORRESPONDENCE WITH HENRY SMITH MP
Thank you for further writing with reference to the west of Ifield large scale housing development proposals.
I am concerned to read your report regarding a lack of disclosure from Homes England following a Freedom of Information request seeking details of both a wildlife and traffic survey. Obviously I cannot speak for the agency but I will write to them seeking these details. When a response is forthcoming I will update you.
Henry Smith MP
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Westminster: 020 7219 7043 | Crawley: 01293 934554
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Sent: 09 March 2020 02:02
To: SMITH, Henry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: ALDRIDGE, Steve <email@example.com>; COOPER, Sam <firstname.lastname@example.org>; QUIN, Jeremy <email@example.com>
Subject: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST TO HOMES ENGLAND – FOR WILDLIFE AND TRAFFICT SURVEY OF IFIELD GOLF CLUB AND THE SURROUNDING AREA – [RF12906 – 6/03/2020]
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