Draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036

Comment ID /4488
Document Section Draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036 Infrastructure, Transport and Healthy Communities (Key Questions) Infrastructure, Transport and Healthy Communities View all on this section
Respondent Ifield Society (Mr Richard Symonds) View all by this respondent
Response Date 30 Mar 2020
What is the nature of this comment?
  • Observation
Summary
Infrastructure (eg Green Infrastructure), Transport and Communities are already under severe pressure. Adding 10,000 houses proposed by Homes England will tip the balance into a social, economic and environmental catastrophe.
Comment

10.14 Developments will be assessed for their impact on the highway and public transport network, as well as the local environment.  They should be located so as to minimise any adverse impact on the highway network

"Opportunities for non-car based transport including walking, cycling and community transport services will be prioritised"

Crawley is well located in transport terms, including good bus services, however, there are already significant issues with congestion in Crawley at peak times

Despite the good transport links and any proposed enhancements, experience of all other recent large developments demonstrate that there will be a large increase in car journeys.

The Ifield West proposal is remote from the major road network and so new road infrastructure is essential as part of the development.

Recent developments along the A 264 have led to bottlenecks at approaches to Crawley and as a result, drivers already abandon the trunk roads and use local roads to escape the queues. Rusper village, Rusper Road and Bonnets Lane are already straining to cope with current pressure and Rusper Road being only 4.9 metres wide can’t reasonably support any additional traffic

The requirement to build a Western Relief Road is imperative to cope with traffic which will be created from another 3,000 homes, before a material start on the proposed development is made, this relief road would have to be built.

However, uncertainty surrounding the possibility of a second runway at Gatwick may impact on the deliverability or routing of this new infrastructure.

Homes England's proposed first phase of the road is shown to end at the junction of Ifield Green and the Charlwood Road. Clearly, these roads can't seriously be considered to be suitable for such weight of traffic.

Recent experience demonstrates that, where a relief road leads to a congested junction, many commuters abandon the major road and turn to existing local roads. Rusper Road was not built with this in mind and would not be able to cope.

 

RAIL TRAVEL

The nearest hub to the proposed first phase of development is Ifield station which is already seriously busy in peak hours and the platform is not of sufficient width to accommodate many additional rush hour commuters. The yellow safety lines are already under extreme pressure.

Commuters are already obliged to stand from Crawley to London

The majority of local commuters walk to Ifield station. How many additional commuters would a 3,000 development produce and how would they get to the local stations where there is no parking provision? It can't be a serious proposal that they should walk.

The existing roads, from the development to Ifield station are only 4900mm wide, certainly not wide enough for a bus route.

 

10.1 Infrastructure is a wide term and is used to refer to a range of services such as roads, railways, public transport water supplies, electricity, education and healthcare facilities,

We are advised that the local hospitals are just about at capacity. Where will the new wards; new diagnostic equipment; new staff come from?

East Surrey Hospital is under so much pressure that the queue to access the car park can be more than 45 minutes .

An emergency ambulance using blue lights and sirens was stuck in the queue for nearly five critical minutes recently. Hopefully the patient was ok but clearly the access can’t currently cope. Add 10,000 houses and then what will happen?

All three Ifield GP practices are at capacity. Each of them has capped their patient list.

Surgeries already struggle to recruit necessary staff. Where will all the new GPs come from?

The site promoters have offered to provide healthcare facilities if a scheme of 10,000 homes were to come forward. Presumably these would not be provided for the initial 3,000 house development.

Proposed Change Reject Homes England's masterplan in the Local Plan to avert a social, economic and environmental catastrophe.
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