Homes England published a ‘West of Ifield news’ in September 2021. We have kept an off-line copy as sometimes articles disappear off the web….
Homes England refer to the legal requirement for Horsham and Crawley to work together – I can confirm that this does happen, has happened and continues to happen. CBC and HDC officers regularly meet and incorporate ‘Duty to cooperate’ requirements in their Local Plans. This includes a ‘Statement of common ground’ – the current one is under preparation, but cannot be completed yet due to the issues related to water supply and potential changes in housing numbers coming from the Government. The latest statement is here Statement of common ground And here is the Draft duty to cooperate statement
Reference is made to the ‘affordable homes’ question. This is indeed a major issue in Crawley where many people are trapped on low wages and struggle to find any type of accomodation that they can afford let alone owning their own home. And government definitions of ‘affordable’ homes really cloud the issue as they refer to many different types of rental and owned housing but don’t necessarily have any direct relationship to people’s incomes or ability to pay. So care needs to be taken when interpreting these statements as the literal meaning of the words used is not always the same as the actual ‘technical’ usage seen in formal documents, like the Local plan, where wording is prescribed by the NPPF, the law etc. For example ‘affordable rent’ refers simply to the local private sector market rents and has no connection to people’s ability to pay these rents.
Cllr Peter Smith
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Crawley Borough Council