Tuesday, January 23, 2007
TO BE OR NOT TO BE - IFIELD BROOK/VILLAGE CONSERVATION AREA FOR DEVELOPMENT, OR NOT ?
Nobody knows, and Horsham District Council's Core Policy CP6 (the 'lead document') is far from clear ? This is disturbing because HDC has stated (23 January 2007) : "CP6 sets the parameters of the JAAP, and provides the framework in which the JAAP operates" (and for Crawley's EiP - Ed).
HDC's CPC 6 "parameters" and "framework" appear confused, confusing - and unsound :
For example, here is a definitive 'Conservation Area Statement' from HDC's Core Strategy 2007 - Web version - to be adopted in February 2007 - Core Policy CP 6 - Strategic Location - West of Crawley :
"PRINCIPLE 11 - NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD PROTECT, AND WHERE POSSIBLE, ENHANCE THE SETTING OF IFIELD VILLAGE CONSERVATION AREA, AND AVOID AREAS OF FLOOD RISK AND AIRCRAFT NOISE CONTOURS..."
So Ifield Brook Meadows/Village Conservation Area looks safe, according to the above.
But, here is another definitive 'Conservation Area Statement' from HDC - Issue 9 : Land W and NW of Crawley - Para 4.1 - January 2007 :
"THE DISTRICT COUNCIL WOULD NOT OBJECT TO ANY PROPOSAL TO INCLUDE THE LAND BETWEEN THE BUILT-UP AREA AND THE BOROUGH BOUNDARY WEST OF IFIELD IN THE STUDY AREA." (ie CBC's Site 19 - which is primarily Ifield Brook Meadows/Village Conservation Area - Ed)
So, what's happening ? Is the area safe from developers or not ?
Considering HDC's CP6 has already been judged "sound" by its Inspector, the future Crawley EiP and JAAP EiP Inspectors will now have to make some very sound judgements themselves...to put it mildly !
I believe Ifield Brook Meadows/Village Conservation Area will be saved from developers - but only after another fight.
This precious area, rich in heritage and character, should be "enhanced" like those areas in Horley's Riverside Park and Southwater's Visitor/Heritage Centre...
But please don't misunderstand me :
I am NOT saying that the decision of the Inspector was wrong by deciding HDC's Core Strategy (CP 6) was "sound".
I am merely saying that it should not be the "lead document" for this area.
So it will be the 'lead document' by definition.