A COMMUNITY group has warned Homes England will receive a resounding ‘no thank you’ when it next consults the public on plans to build thousands of homes west of Ifield.
And the Save West of Ifield group has repeated long-standing concerns about the impact so many new homes would have on health services in the area.
A third public consultation about plans to build 3,250 homes is expected to take place later this year.
The proposed development would be the first of three neighbourhoods which could see 10,000 homes built over the next 30 years.
It has received strong opposition from residents and councillors alike, with many determined to fight it every step of the way.
A spokesman for Save West of Ifield said: “Homes England may like to talk as if thousands of new houses across the West of Ifield is a done deal, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“As Henry Smith’s recent question [in the Commons] and Michael Gove’s appearances in Parliament have highlighted, the whole planning system is under review and all sorts of policy U-turns are likely this side of the general election.”
The group questioned the need for so many new homes, saying such developments created demand and added to population growth – but had nothing to do with local need.
As for the new homes, they wondered how many would be truly affordable and how many would be used to provide the social housing needed by Crawley.
As for the impact of doctors, dentists and the like, the spokesman said: “They promise to provide new schools, jobs and road improvements – but no mention of health services.
“What about the effect of 24,000 more people on the chronic shortage of GPs and overstretched East Surrey Hospital?”
She added: “Homes England may run another consultation exercise, but the result will be the same as before: a resounding ‘no thank you’ from these local communities.”
A spokesman for Homes England said: “For health facilities provision at West of Ifield, we will provide exactly what the NHS instructs for the area.
“We are aware of queries locally around the provision of health facilities in line with any development, and can assure that we have committed to make opportunities available to the NHS Integrated Care Systems wherever needed.
“We do not have direct control over the delivery of these facilities so instead we work in partnership with the NHS to make sure that the space is there for the development of new health care facilities should they be required.”