APRIL 18 2024 – RWS NOTES – WEST OF IFIELD

APRIL 18 2024 – RWS NOTES – WEST OF IFIELD

 

NOTE 1

It’s always good to hear a political party make a clear promise just before an election [Crawley Labour Leaflet, April 2024]:

‘Pledge 7 – We will continue to oppose the unwanted development of 3000 houses to the West of Ifield’

Would someone in power please inform Cllr John Milne – HDC Cabinet Member for Planning and Infrastructure – of this pledge? Cllr Milne, when discussing the housing figure of 10,000 West of Ifield, clearly states:

“…this figure will be cut to just 3k to meet Crawley’s growing needs”

Crawley does not want or need Horsham’s housing allocation of 3000 houses [and later possibly 10,000] dumped on their doorstep – as confirmed by its Leader Michael Jones.

In his visit to Horsham, Rishi Sunak said of the housing issue [‘PM talks about Sussex issues’, WSCT, April 11]:

“We can’t impose things on local communities”

Would someone in power please tell Homes England to withdraw their monstrous West of Ifield planning application, due this summer, and find a viable alternative – such as the proposed Ifield Park Local Nature Reserve?

 

NOTE 2

‘Asked if opposition from the Labour-run Crawley Borough Council to plans from a neighbouring council to build 10,000 homes along its boundary contradicted the party’s national position, Ms Rayner said she was “not aware of the local issues”‘ [‘Labour would “force” communities to develop housebuilding plan’, BBC News, April 17 2024].

The ‘under-fire’ Shadow Housing Secretary could be forgiven for her lack of awareness: Andrew Griffith, Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs, said last month:

“I am very concerned at the revelation that they [Horsham Liberal Democrats – Ed] may have secret plans for an additional ‘new town'”

The  “secret plans” have been known about since 2019.

 

 

NOTE 3

Cllr John Milne, Horsham District Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning & Infrastructure, is to be thanked for proposing a much-needed ‘Green Belt’ between Horsham and Crawley [‘Plans to apply for land between Horsham and Crawley to be designated Green Belt being explored’ ‘Horsham: Council to apply for county’s first green belt area’, Sussex World / BBC News*, Feb 20 / 27 2024 – Reporter Karen Dunn].

If Cllr Milne is having difficulty identifying the exact location of such, might I suggest a specific nature and heritage fringe along the River Mole valley tributaries within the western boundary of the ancient Parish of Ifield.

  •  Original BBC Headline [now deleted]: ‘Horsham plots green-belt bid to block developers’, BBC News, Feb 27 2024

 

 

 

 

NOTE 4

Homes England’s West of Ifield masterplan, foisted upon Horsham District Council, was a bad plan.

Former planning inspector Stuart Crossen states [Newsletter – Save West of Ifield Together – March 2024]:

“The allocation of West of Ifield will result in a development plan which does not pass the tests of soundness at Examination…”

If that professional evaluation proves to be correct, an alternative plan must be urgently sought.

A powerful case is now being made for a designated Local Nature Reserve.

NOTE 5

Disturbingly, Angela Cornford writes [‘No alternative for council’, WSCT Letters, March 28]:

“I believe that HDC – Horsham District Council –  had no alternative but to include it (powerless to stop it?)” – ‘it’ being the Homes England ‘West of Ifield’ masterplan.

Enough is enough.

Government agency Homes England must now be re-investigated by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee with a view to exercising its statutory powers, forcing the withdrawal of Homes England’s ‘West of Ifield’ planning application this summer….before even more public money is wasted.

 

NOTE 6

“The ancient heritage of St. Margaret’s Church parish must be protected” [‘Horror at housing plan’, WSCT Letters, Nov 3].

That was the conclusion of Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, after attending ‘The Friendly Dragon Mass Trespass Walk’ last Saturday.

Crawley Borough Council can ensure that protection by an ‘Elizabeth II Nature Reserve’ – incorporating Willoughby Fields Local Nature Reserve [LNR], Ifield Brook Meadows Local Green Space [LGS] and Ifield Millpond [SNCI].

Horsham District Council can ensure that protection by voting to remove ‘West of Ifield’ from its Local Plan at Full Council on January 11th 2023.

‘The Millers Trail’ walk will take place this Saturday, [Nov 12] – 11am from the Plough in Ifield [or 11.30 at the Mill].

Ifield Mill will open its doors especially for the walkers.

All welcome.

NOVEMBER 5 2022 – BBC COVERAGE OF ‘THE FRIENDLY DRAGON TRESPASS’

 

Richard W. Symonds

The Ifield Society