Crawley 185-home development reluctantly approved

The design and layout of a development of 185 homes has been given rather reluctant approval by Crawley Borough Council’s planning committee.

Outline permission for the site north of Steers Lane, Pound Hill, was given on appeal in February 2020 after the council failed to make a decision within the required time frame – though officers would have recommended it be refused.

During a meeting of the planning committee last Tuesday (April 6), some councillors were less than impressed with the plans put forward by developer Bellway.

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Peter Smith (Lab, Ifield) said the triangular site would be ‘crammed full’ and the application should include fewer homes – but he admitted the committee had ‘little choice’ but to approve.

Mr Smith added: “We’ve been forced into a position where we have no option.”

Other concerns were raised by Kim Jaggard (Con, Maidenbower), who said a lot of the house designs were ‘all over the place’ with some ‘very, very strange room shapes’.

Mrs Jaggard and Mr Smith were also disappointed that the homes would include gas boilers, even though these are scheduled to be banned from new buildings within the next few years.

Maureen Mwagale (Con, Tilgate) questioned the small size of the gardens while Ian Irvine (Lab, Broadfield) was not happy that many of the affordable homes included in the development had been placed in areas where noise mitigation was needed.

The development will be made up of two, 2.5 and three-storey houses and flats – 31 one bedroom flats, 37 two-bedroom flats, 27 two-bedroom houses, 60 three-bedroom houses, and 30 four-bedroom houses.

Forty per cent of the housing will be classed as affordable.