Agenda item

Public Question Time

To answerpublicquestionsunder Council Procedure Rule10.The questionsmust be on matterswhich are relevanttothe functionsofthe Council, andshould not includestatements.


One supplementaryquestionfrom thequestioner will be allowed.


Up to 30 minutesisallocatedto PublicQuestionTime.



Questions asked in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9 were as follows:


Questioner’s Name

Name of Councillor Responding



Mr Symonds (Ifield)


In light of Homes England’s monstrous SA101 development plan for the ancient parish of Ifield confusingly called the ‘West of Ifield Plan’, could the new Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Sustainability investigate whether or not the developers are in breach of policies CH9, ENV2 and ENV3 of the Crawley Local Plan?  Specifically relating to the rural fringe and buffer zone around the local green space of Ifield Brook Meadows and the local nature reserve of Willoughby Fields.



Supplementary Question


Is the Council aware of any relevant supplementary planning documents in preparation which might affect the Homes England SA101 Plan for the West of Ifield?



Councillor P C Smith

(Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development)


Thank you for your question.  A full written response will be provided in due course.  The details of your question are difficult to answer as we have not yet received any application from Homes England.  Based on the vague information we do have, we expect the application in the first quarter of 2020.  The majority of the site will be in Horsham and subject to Horsham District Council’s planning policies.  If there is any element that falls within the Crawley borough, this will be subject to the existing Crawley Local Plan until a revised version is adopted next year.  The Ifield Brook Meadows area will have public protection as a Local Green Space, as put forward by Councillor Geraint Thomas in the Local Plan Working Group, which is now embedded in the Local Plan.  After discussion with the Director of Homes England I can confirm that area is protected up to the Crawley boundary.  Willoughby Fields is also subject to these protections but they are not quite as strong.  We have supplementary planning documents in the public realm on our website and if an applicant comes to the Crawley area these documents will be applied.  Some of these are due to be updated towards the end of 2020 after the adoption of the revised Local Plan.



Mr Khan (Bewbush)




In line with the Constitution, the Mayor rejected the question as it related directly to an individual’s case.


Mr Khan was then removed from the Council chamber due to disruptive behaviour.



Mr Skudder (Langley Green)


After a chat with the traders at the market, they haven’t heard anything about future plans.  I wonder if the Council is able to share any details of when the market will relocate from the current location by the bus station and if all the current traders will be relocated or if there are any other changes in the pipeline.







Councillor P C Smith

(Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development)


Thank you for your question.  In 2014 when we took control of the Council there had been an attempt made to move the market from the old High Street to Queens Square – there was an outsourced arrangement with a contractor to run the market and it was a very unsatisfactory situation.  So we commissioned consultants to look at the long term potential for where the market was to be located as we were in the process of regenerating Queens square and turning it into the modern clean space that it is now.  In the interim we asked our Town Centre Manager Alfredo Mendes to run the market on a temporary basis without using an external contractor and it’s been working like that for about three years now and it’s thanks to Mr Mendes and the Economic Development team that the market is currently as successful as it is.  The long term plan based on the consultant’s report is to re-establish a permanent market located on Queensway.  There’s underground work on cabling etc to support stalls on both sides.  What is currently missing is the time and money to launch a new market which is not a trivial activity.  We’ve also got to find some officer time, but as soon as we can we will do that.  It’s on the town centre regeneration programme and definitely on our to-do list.