OCTOBER 21 2021 – CRAWLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL’S UNANIMOUS OPPOSITION TO HOMES ENGLAND’S 10,000 HOUSES ‘WEST OF IFIELD’ + UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FOR CITY STATUS. ROLL ON A CITY NATURE RESERVE WEST OF IFIELD !

COUNCILLORS RE-STATE STRONGEST POSSIBLE OPPOSITION TO WEST OF IFIELD DEVELOPMENT – CRAWLEY OBSERVER

CRAWLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL’S UNANIMOUS OPPOSITION TO HOMES ENGLAND’S 10,000 HOUSES ‘WEST OF IFIELD’

KAREN DUNN ON TWITTER – LOCAL DEMOCRACY REPORTER – ON THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE FULL COUNCIL MEETING – AS IT HAPPENS

 

Karen Dunn – Local Democracy Reporter @Karen_Dunn

 

EXCERPTS

@Karen_Dunn

On to Public Question Time. The first one is about the West of Ifield development plans & whether the water neutrality directive is a ‘show-stopper’

#LDReporter

 @Karen_Dunn

Peter Smith [now Deputy Leader – Ed] said the directive stops the council from approving applications which have an impact on the water supply – this is most of them. They’re developing a water strategy but West of Ifield is not a Crawley application, it’s Horsham

#LDReporter

@Karen_Dunn

Essentially, they don’t know what effect the Natural England declaration will have. But the council will continue to speak against the plans & encourages others to do the same

 @Karen_Dunn

Next up is our ‘local character’ – this is going to be about his taxi licence. Yup, the shouting and pointing has started aaaand he’s being escorted from the room. He wants £1m compensation…or £2m…

 @Karen_Dunn

Next up is a young lad who has asked about the shutting of the adventure playgrounds. He wonders what children are supposed to do. I hope he wasn’t unnerved by the previous speaker – he’s certainly more eloquent than he was

#LDReporter

@Karen_Dunn

Peter Lamb & Duncan Crow are of one mind over this. Their message to the Queen: “75 years ago, you made Crawley a New Town. In that time, we have grown to become a regional powerhouse. Imagine what we can achieve if you made us a New City’

#LDReporter

@Karen_Dunn

Bob Lanzer has pointed out that, in non-pandemic times, Crawley brought in 35% of the county’s business rates despite only having 2% of the land. As for the town’s diversity he said it was ‘a world in one borough’

#LDReporter

1
@Karen_Dunn

It’s been unanimously agreed that a bid will be prepared

#LDReporter

……….

@Karen_Dunn

Bit of an argument after Tim Lunnon said the Tories have no one but themselves to blame about the current situation & they wouldn’t be bothered if the shoe was on the other foot. ‘How dare you!’ was the response from Brenda Burgess

#LDReporter

 

@Karen_Dunn

People are calling out & after being told by one councillor to ‘respect the chair’, another said ‘You started it!’ I have a small grandson who uses that response to arguments…

@Karen_Dunn

Mr Crow’s amendment has been voted down. The motion itself has been carried – on the chair’s casting vote, of course

@Karen_Dunn

Josh Bounds has tabled the motion & said needs to make it clear to Homes England & Horsham District Council that it is opposed to the plans & Crawley’s interests need to be protected

@Karen_Dunn

There’s an amendment to the wording from Peter Smith who points out that the council has opposed these plans from day one

@Karen_Dunn

Peter Lamb is annoyed the motion implies that the council has been doing nothing to oppose these plans, when in fact it has been rather vocal since 2019. He said he has asked Henry Smith MP a number of times to raise it with the minister with no success

@Karen_Dunn

Duncan Crow said there has been a misunderstanding & the motion in no way intends to criticise the work to oppose this development so far. He wants them to be of one voice on this – to present a united front

@Karen_Dunn

Richard Burrett has recalled the old ‘Crawsham’ joke, that Horsham & Crawley would eventually merge. He doesn’t think it’s much of a joke any more given how much development is planned or in progress

@Karen_Dunn

They’re voting. The amendment has been agreed on the chair’s casting vote. The motion itself was unanimously agreed

………..

 

@Karen_Dunn

And that’s the end of a rather long meeting. Goodnight all

#LDReporter

Great GIF !

 

 

 

“Political vision, political will and political unity are three essential ingredients to make this happen. Combining Willoughby Fields Local Nature Reserve [LNR], Ifield Brook Meadows Local Green Space [LGS] and the Millpond-Bewbush Water Gardens [SSSI] into one West of Ifield Local Nature Reserve [LNR] is more than possible – but it will also require community courage”

Richard W. Symonds – The Ifield Society

 

City Status

https://www.crawleyobserver.co.uk/news/politics/crawley-city-status-bid-could-help-regenerate-a-sense-of-civic-direction-and-pride-3427546

“We will now be pushing hard for a Local Nature Reserve status – what better way to show our ‘green’ credentials as we seek City status”

Richard W. Symonds ~ The Ifield Society

 

CBC Full Council – Public Question Time – October 20 2021 2021.10.20 

Question by Richard Symonds – The Ifield Society

“Is the ‘Water Neutrality’ Directive from Natural England a ‘show-stopper’ when it comes to
large developments -such as the West of Ifield masterplan within our ancient Parish?”

Answer by Cllr Peter Smith – CBC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development

I will, of course, email you a full response to your question after this meeting.
Natural England is a Government Agency and sent us a ‘Position statement’ on 14th
September. It was entirely unexpected and has an immediate effect on the Sussex North
water supply zone (which is managed by Southern Water). The Sussex North zone
includes most of Crawley, nearly all of Horsham district, including the West of Ifield area,
some of Chichester district and parts of the South Downs National Park.
The Position statement covers most of Crawley including Manor Royal and effectively stops
us approving new planning permissions which have an increased water demand
implication. This is, of course, most planning applications.
In the meantime in Crawley it’s preventing job creating and affordable schemes from coming
forward, and stopping people from getting their extensions, which is why we need to find a
solution. So we are co-operating with Natural England, Southern Water and other planning
authorities affected to develop a water neutrality strategy. This will take a number of
months to put in place.
We have a large number of Householder applications that are affected with more coming in
every week and more than ten major applications for commercial development affected.
We are doing this for Crawley applications to help our residents build their extensions and
our developers to build new business premises creating much needed jobs.
In the much longer term, Southern Water are proposing to install new abstraction facilities.
Of course, we do not have any large sites in Crawley as we are broadly built out to our
boundaries.
The majority of the Homes England’s West of Ifield site lies in Horsham District and so they
are the planning authority and will decide any application. Crawley will be consulted as a
statutory consultee, as the site is on our boundary, but we will not have any say in the final
decision.
So I can’t say what effect the Natural England positions statement will have on large
applications in Horsham but Homes England is a Government agency and of a large enough
size that there is no guarantee that this will prevent the West of Ifield development.
For our part in Crawley we will be taking a keen interest in these events and will continue to
speak up for Ifield and Crawley’s interests at all times.

Supplementary question by Richard Symonds

“Last Monday, Horsham District Council’s Deputy Leader [and Councillor
representing the Ward of Colgate and Rusper within the ancient Parish of
Ifield] wrote on a Facebook site regarding Homes England’s scheme of 10,000
houses West of Ifield:
‘Why are you not writing to homes England to object to the scheme? HDC legally have
to review what is put in front of them but the developer in this case homes England could
withdraw the plans…. I would encourage everybody to write to homes England as well’

Will Crawley Borough Council support a letter-writing campaign urging Homes
England to withdraw their scheme of 10,000 houses West of Ifield?”

Answer from Cllr Peter Smith

Crawley Borough Council would encourage all those who object to the proposals to use
every avenue available to ensure their voice is heard by Homes England. That could include
a letter writing campaign or more importantly ensuring that they participate in any formal
public consultation run by Homes England, as a lack of overwhelming opposition in the
public responses is likely to be used as evidence of public support when planning permission
is sought.

 

Cllr Peter Smith – Additional comments

The Full Council voted unanimously, with all members in attendance, for Josh’s motion with amendments proposed by Peter Smith. This is good news as it is clearly in the public record that CBC are not supporting Homes England’s proposed development.

Here is the amended wording:

Proposed Amended Notice Of Motion 2 – Land West Of Ifield / Crawley, if approved, now read:

Crawley Borough Council formally re-states its strongest possible opposition to the Homes England proposal to build up to 10,000 new homes to the west of Ifield/Crawley.

The Council congratulates the administration for having written some time ago to both Homes England and Horsham District Council on behalf of the council’s entire membership, to set out the full range of concerning impacts for Crawley and the environment, including infrastructure pressures, that this development would create, and seeking both maximum mitigation measures and ongoing influence for Crawley throughout the entire process, in order to protect Crawley’s interests.

 

OCTOBER 21 2021 – “LOCAL PLAN IS ‘TOAST’” – WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES – FRONT PAGE [OCT 21]

 

OCTOBER 13 2021 – MAKING THE CASE FOR A LOCAL NATURE RESERVE AT GATWICK [IN DARK PINK]