Here’s where 1,000 new homes could be built near Crawley’s border

A new development of at least 1,000 new homes could be built right on Crawley’s border with the possibility of another 1,300 being built in the future.

Mid Sussex District Council has published a draft district plan ahead of a planned six week public consultation.

It proposes to allocate a number of strategic sites in the period up to 2038.

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One of these is Crabbet Park near Copthorne, just on the other side of the M23 from Crawley.

Crabbet Park near Copthorne where 1,000 new homes could be allocated. Pic by S Robards

According to officers the site could actually deliver 2,300 new homes, but they believe only 1,000 could be brought forward during the plan period.

The site was previously considered during the preparation of the adopted plan (in March 2018), but was rejected due to land ownership uncertainties and infrastructure concerns relating to access, impact on the M23 and sewerage.

However officers say the site is now being actively promoted and work is being progressed to address these concerns.

The proposed development would include accommodation for the elderly, employment land, new primary school, village centre containing shop and community facilities, improved linkages to the cycling and walking network and mitigation to reduce the impact of the scheme on the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the south.

Copthorne is within Mid Sussex but near Crawley's border

Developments on Crawley’s boundary has been a sore spot for the borough in recent years.

Back in 2016, when discussing 600 homes and a new hospice at Pease Pottage, one councillor suggested they should ‘march our tanks on into Mid Sussex’.

Meanwhile Homes England is promoting a 10,000-home development at West of Ifield on land within the Horsham district.

The proposed development site at Crabbet Park near Copthorne

Responding to the latest proposed allocation, Mr Lamb said: “Crawley Labour’s manifesto makes it clear we will oppose every boundary development which fails to meet the town’s needs.

“Over the last decade, Crawley has seen its neighbours building on its boundaries at Kilnwood Vale, Copthorne, Pease Pottage and along Rusper Road, and we are already fighting off a development West of Ifield which would see the town expand by a quarter.

“While far smaller in scale, our experience shows that these developments consistently create housing local residents can’t afford, with an absence of council properties, and infrastructure so poor that the residents are dependant upon Crawley’s services without paying council tax for their upkeep.

“So long as that remains the case, developers will face stern opposition any Crawley Borough Council administration with Labour members.”