Horsham District Council Local Plan -  SWOI step by step guide to responding to the Local Plan

More than sixty people attended an event organised by the Save West of Ifield (SWOI) campaign and focussed on how to respond to the Horsham District Council Local Plan.
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An area West of Ifield (WOI), on the borders of Crawley, has been included in the recent HDC Local Plan as being suitable for housing development. The site will initially be focussed on Ifield Golf Club, on the Rusper Road, which has been purchased by Homes England, a government agency, for the construction of 3,000 new houses. The land falls within Horsham District Council's remit but is on the borders of Crawley.Crawley has been the subject of recent housing development by a number of local authorities, which seem keen to dump their housing developments on the borders of the town, thereby creating additional pressure on already over stretched local infrastructure and services.

Save West of Ifield (SWOI) is a campaign group, consisting of local residents, councillors and activists who are determined to prevent the Homes England development due to the detrimental impact it will have on the local area, and the fact that it doesn’t target genuine local need. The HDC Local Plan is currently out for consultation and is open to feedback on it's contents by the 1st March 2024, The SWOI committee is encouraging residents to respond to the HDC Local Plan consultation and to list their concerns and opposition to the inclusion of the West of Ifield site for development and this was the focus of the event held on the 8th February.

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Attendees at the event were able to learn about the many reasons why the WOI site is not suitable for housing development and why it should be removed from HDC's Local Plan. Issues covered included the loss of biodiversity, the impact on local infrastructure and transport, the threat to heritage in the area, the implications for local health services, the loss of a valued local amenity in the golf course, potential impact on the local landscape and the possible impact of aircraft noise on the proposed site. A briefing was also held on how residents could respond to the HDC Local Plan consultation by listing their concerns about, and opposition to, the proposed development.

.A number of people attending the event said that they had already written to HDC objecting to the development and asked if they needed to do so again. The answer is YES as this is now a formal consultation and, as such, objections need to be logged with HDC direct and will then be considered by a Planning Inspector when the Local Plan goes through an examination process. Objections and comments can be made direct to HDC on-line, by email or by a postal response. Guidance on how to do this, and objections to the West of Ifield development, are available under Documents on the SWOI website - savewestofifield.co.uk

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