Have you noticed the amount of road works across Town at the moment? Some of it is sorely needed road repairs and we have often waited some time for WSCC to get around to fixing the potholes. The works in the Town centre are part of the Crawley Growth Programme ‘Eastern Gateway’ investment scheme to improve our infrastructure making the public realm more pleasant and encouraging more people to visit the Town centre. And then we have the WSCC scheme at Ifield Avenue/Ifield Drive to replace the mini-roundabout with a traffic light crossing. This scheme is paid for by developer contributions charged following the development of 193 houses on the former Ifield college site and is designed to cope with the extra traffic created by that development. This will include pedestrian and cycle crossings as well as better control of the traffic flows.
Compare this to the roads that have been built at Pease Pottage following the development of around 600 houses approved by Mid-Sussex council in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). This scheme was opposed by Crawley Borough Council. It doesn’t even include a footpath or cycle path to K2, which would need to cross two Motorway access roads of course. So, guess how the residents of this development will be getting to and from the services that they need in Crawley, like jobs, shops, schools, library etc, etc!
And now we are faced with a new increase in traffic across Crawley as Horsham District Council look likely to adopt Homes England’s development of 3250 houses, which is part of their 10,000 home West of Ifield development, right on our boundary, just like the Mid Sussex Pease Pottage development. But how will Homes England deliver road infrastructure within Crawley for traffic emanating from 3250 homes, let alone 10,000? Based on previous experience with development on our boundary by our neighbours are Crawley residents going to be left with a raw deal again?
Cllr Peter Smith, Labour Ifield and Ifield West
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development