Tuesday, January 23, 2007



Somebody please enlighten me here, please :

Is Ifield Golf Course going to disappear under developer concrete and tarmac - or not ?

Some say 'yes'. Some say 'no'. Some say 'yes' and 'no'. Some say 'don't know'. Some know but aren't saying.

Horsham District Council proposed 'no' - apparently - last year* : "The search area boundary is proposed to be reduced from that identified in Policy CP6. The change proposed being...THE IFIELD GOLF COURSE, an area...to be removed from the Strategic Location Area of Study".

(*Horsham District Local Development Framework - Alternative Development Sites and Boundary Changes 2006 - Site ADS 66 - West of Crawley Area of Study - Page 38).

But, as I read the situation at the moment, 'partners' are assuming 'yes' - Ifield Golf Course will be closed and re-located elsewhere.

Is there anybody out there who can speak without a forked-tongue - and tell the truth...or is that too much to ask ?!

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Well, today emails have been going to-and-fro between Horsham District Council (HDC) and myself.

There have been some helpful clarifications, and some clearing-up of misunderstandings.

As I see it, Ifield Golf Club is very much ear-marked for development - but that decision, and its detail, will be made by the Joint Area Action Plan (JAAP) for West of Crawley (ie the ancient Parish of Ifield)...made up of Crawley Borough Council (CBC), Horsham District Council (HDC), and presumably West Sussex County Council (WSCC), with its 'stakeholders', 'partners', and 'hangers-on'.

I predict that Ifield Golf Course will be sold to developers (if not already done so). It will then be re-located to HDC land west of Ifield Church on this ancient Parish - which is why English Partnerships want to develop CBC's Ifield Brook Meadows Conservation Area.

In other words, 'they' are sticking to their original plan.

Ifield's 13th century Parish Church, I predict, will be surrounded by the bricks and mortar of 2500 new houses - rather like St Mark's Church (Tower) in Horsham.

The most disturbing thing is that, if this happens as predicted, 'they' will have totally disregarded the huge amount of dissenting, democratic voices within the community.

The developers win - the community lose.

All very familiar...but a democratic obscenity.
Of course, if your version of democracy had held sway in the 1940s, Crawley New Town may never have bee built, - including most of the houses in Ifield.

Londoners would have been kept in the bombed-out slums while the rural areas snubbed the attempts to rebuild after the war.

As a descendant of London 'immigrants' to Crawley, I have to say that the nimby attitude should not always have the last word.

Not that I think that the development of the Golf Course makes sense, when there are better opportunities on the other side of town.
If my version of democracy had held sway in 1999, school fields might not have been built on, and hot school meals for children might not have been scrapped.

Instead, we witnessed a morally- bankrupt county-level political party make a politically-vindictive and disgusting decision - while another local-level political party looked on and did, essentially, 'sweet fa'.
What could Labour or the Lib Dems do? The Tories have absolute control of WSCC. They made the decision.

We opposed it. We lost.

You started your one-man crusade. You lost.

Jamie Oliver mugs for the camera and torks like e is a reel cockerny and he reverses the decision.

Do I like it? No. Is our democracy flawed? Yes. It's the worst possible system - until you consider the alternatives (twas Churchill wot said that).
"What could Labour and the Lib Dems do ?"

More than you (Lab) did, that's for sure.

In just the same way, there was so much you could have done, and still could do, to stop an 'out of control', pathological Bliar from further war-mongering.

Instead, you (Lab) stood around, and still stand around, doing - as I said - "essentially sweet fa".

I could have done more - and I could do more - and it is to my everlasting shame that I did not - and do not - do more.
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