West Sussex Gazette

Developmen­t opposition is restated by councillor­s

Cross-party support for motion on Ifield plans

- Karen Dunn Local democracy reporter ws.letters@jpimedia.co.uk

Crawley Borough Council has restated its ‘strongest possible opposition’ to plans to build 10,000 homes west of Ifield.

During a meeting of the full council last Wednesday, a notice of motion was tabled calling on the council to write to both Homes England and Horsham District Council, setting out the council’s concerns.

While every councillor was of one voice when it came to opposing the proposed developmen­t, there was an exchange of views over the wording of the motion, which was tabled by Josh Bounds (Con, Ifield).

Peter Smith, cabinet member for planning and economic developmen­t, pointed out that the council had been making clear its objection to the plans since day one.

Hesaid:“WewrotetoH­omes England with a complete list of asks or requiremen­ts. And more than that, we have built them all into our draft local plan. We have had various meetings with Homes England. At all meetings we have consistent­ly put Crawley’s case to [them], which is that we do not support the proposals.”

Leader Peter Lamb said the motion suggested that the council had not been doing any work on the issue when, in fact, there were ‘a lot of people who have been working flat out’.

Mr Smith tabled an amendment to the motion, removing the call for the chief executive to write any letters – instead congratula­ting the administra­tion for already having done so.

While the change was criticised as ‘back-slapping’ by Conservati­ve councillor­s, they all voted in favour of the amendedmot­ion.DuncanCrow (Con, Furnace Green), who seconded the motion, said there had been a misunderst­anding and the point of the motion had been to present a united front.

Addressing­MrLambandM­r Smith, he said: “I can assure you both that there was never any intention to be critical of the administra­tion or the Labour Group.”

He added: “We recognise the efforts that have been undertaken so far but I think this is very useful for us as a council to unite around and to show the people of Crawley, Horsham District Council and Homes England that we speak with one voice on this.”

 ?? ?? The West of Ifield plans
The West of Ifield plans

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