Monday, February 05, 2007
WHAT'S THE POINT OF A 'JAAP' IN IFIELD PARISH ?
If you didn't get that, don't worry...
Anyway, to those unfamiliar with planning matters in Ifield Parish, this 'What's the point' question might not mean much - in fact, even to those familiar with such matters, it might not mean much either. In fact again, if someone says they are NOT confused about Ifield Parish planning, they don't know what's going on - unless, of course, they happen to work in Chichester's Cunty (sorry, County) Hall Planning Department - the ivory tower of West Sussex County Council (WSCC).
But I digress - confusedly.
JAAP stands for Joint Area Action Plan :
JOINT = Horsham District Council (HDC) and Crawley Borough Council (CBC) - plus WSCC and others - but don't tell anybody. The 'Area' for the development of 2500 houses is split between HDC and CBC.
AREA = 'Land W and NW of Crawley' (eg Ifield Golf Course-HDC/Ifield Village Conservation Area-CBC - in the ancient Parish of Ifield.
ACTION PLAN = The Plan of Action to be taken when Crawley and Horsham's Core Strategies (CS's) have jointly received their Examinations-in-Pubic (sorry, Public) - EiP's - by the Planning Inspectors.
Horsham District Council have had their EiP, and the Inspectors have judged their Core Strategy "sound" (morally wrong, but legally sound). This gives the 'green light' for the destruction of the present Ifield Golf Course (but we're not supposed to know that yet).
Crawley Borough Council will have their EiP on March 1, and it is likely that the Inspector will judge that legally "sound" as well - which will probably give the 'green light' for the destruction of Ifield Village Conservation Area.
The JAAP will also have an EiP later this year - all at taxpayers' expense by the way.
So, what's the point of a JAAP - 'Land W and NW of Crawley' - if HDC and CBC both have their Core Strategies judged as "sound" ?
Good question...and the answers (especially from the cynics amongst us) do not make for happy reading...
My instincts tell me (and I might be wrong) that if the HDC/CBC had not agreed to a JAAP, their Core Strategies would have been judged as "unsound" by the Inspectors - and thus the whole pack of cards, orchestrated by WSCC, would have come crashing down around their ears.
My instincts also tell me (and I might be wrong again) that the JAAP has been introduced by WSCC/HDC/CBC simply to 'buy time', in the hope that the fierce opposition to their plans of destruction, especially within Ifield Parish, will have dissipated.
If that is the case, they have made a very serious mistake.
For the records :