I recently met with Homes England to reiterate the opposition of myself and residents across town at their plans for the west of Ifield.
In Parliament and directly to Homes England I am continuing to make clear that the local community does not agree with their proposals to build some 10,000 housing units to the west of Ifield. The question is not whether we need new housing in this country, but where?
The Government is taking important measures to ensure warmer and greener homes nationally. A cash boost of over £560 million will upgrade 50,000 households in social housing and domestic properties with deep insulation, heat pumps and solar panels.
The national upgrade will help these households save up to £450 a year on energy bills and support over 8,000 green jobs annually including plumbers, builders and tradespeople, as part of Government pledging more than £9 billion to increase the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.
Currently, emissions from domestic properties account for around a quarter of Britain’s carbon emissions, and the green home projects will help cut more than 70,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere each year.
This is an important issue and it is right for it to be addressed by the Government.
I remain deeply concerned however over the environmental pressures and damage of Homes England’s proposals and their effect on the green fields to the west of Ifield; they should take a more joined up approach instead of planning to build on green fields which do not have the infrastructure for a new development.
Last year in the House of Commons I highlighted the issue of these proposals seeing some 10,000 houses in unsustainable circumstances on the floodplain; a point I continue to raise with Homes England.
The need for new homes in this country is there for all to see. What is also apparent is that this must be done in a way which is not only mindful of our environment, but takes into account the views of local residents.
The land to the west of Ifield falls under the Horsham District Council boundary but would have a huge effect on people in Crawley. The issue of infrastructure such as roads, schools and GP provision would also need to be addressed if new housing was to be built.
My record is clear on this issue and it is one I will continue to pursue.
Henry Smith MP