The Government’s housing delivery agency, Homes England (formerly Homes & Communities Agency) has recently revealed its potential masterplan to create a neighbourhood of 10,000 new homes between Horsham and Crawley in West Sussex. The site, known as ‘land west of Ifield’, is located within Horsham District Council’s boundary, but is intended to be a new neighbourhood for Crawley given the position of the site on the border of the town.
Homes England has promoted the site to Horsham District Council through its Local Plan review process, it is one of several strategic scale sites that the Council will need to consider for allocation within its new Local Plan. Given the proximity to Crawley town, considerable joint working with Crawley Borough Council will be necessary to help bring the site forward.
There are a number of constraints to development on parts of the site, such as being within Flood zones 2 & 3, and within the Airport Safeguarded land area for a second runway at Gatwick Airport. Areas of Ancient Woodland and Sites of Scientific Interest are also located within the site boundary, which will have to be taken into consideration in any development proposals.
The masterplan proposal includes provision for 35% affordable homes; a Crawley Western Relief Road; five primary schools, two secondary schools, a target of 50% greenspace, and a 10% biodiversity net gain. Homes England expects that 10,000 new jobs will be created to support the local economy and Gatwick Diamond area.
The development is likely to come forward on a phased basis with the first phase providing around 3,000 homes, a planning application for this will likely take place once there is confirmation of the allocation of the site in the Horsham District Local Plan, which is due for public consultation in early spring 2020 and adoption at the end of 2021.
Consultation on the proposal closes on the 1st December 2019. Further information can be found on the Homes England website: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/west-of-ifield