NO INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING FROM MSDC FOR CROSS BORDER DEVELOPMENTS FOR FELBRIDGE
Felbridge Parish Council (FPC) appreciates Felbridge’s unique position on the border of Tandridge District Council (TDC) and Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC). FPC is keen to work proactively with both councils to best look after the needs and interests of its residents. FPC also understands that each of the developments at Crawley Down Road have gone through the planning process at MSDC and are not questioning that the correct process has been followed.
However, recent planning decisions relating to Crawley Down Road have created a situation leading to concern amongst local residents which we feel must be addressed. It is our priority to try and secure:
• Safe, accessible, local play facilities which can meet the additional demand from these new developments
• An environmentally friendly option for families to access open spaces, sports and community facilities (and the local secondary school) by making the Worth Way accessible thereby reducing the need for additional car journeys through the already heavily congested A22/A264 junction.
It is noted that MSDC officers recommended a Local Equipped Area for Play should be included in both the 15-39 Crawley Down Road development in Felbridge (63 houses) and the Hazel Close development in Crawley Down (60 houses). Both are currently under construction. While a LEAP has been included in the Hazel Close development, it was removed from the final site plan for the Crawley Down Road development. There is no explanation for why the Felbridge development has been treated differently to that in Crawley Down.
FPC is disappointed that MSDC has not allocated any of the infrastructure funding they have received from the developers of the three sites on the Felbridge border to support infrastructure in Felbridge. Unusually, the county boundary runs through the development sites with all the houses within the Mid Sussex District and the access roads in Felbridge within Tandridge District. In response to questions from concerned residents and in the interests of transparency, FPC is sharing an overview of the situation along with relevant documents and links to additional material.
While acknowledging that it is not the norm for councils to fund facilities in adjoining districts, as the Felbridge playground is so close to the two largest developments, it will be the obvious choice for their new residents. However, the MSDC Planning Applications Team Leader has confirmed that the funding designed to meet the additional demand for playground and kickabout facilities from two of these developments will be spent on the Imberhorne Lane play area. This is despite the MSDC Community Leisure Officer saying in reference to Crawley Down Road “the nearest play area is in East Grinstead approx. 1 km away from the development site which is beyond the FIT guidelines for walking distances”. (Appendix A) No funding has been secured for the third and largest development. Google Maps shows the comparative walking times from site to playgrounds to be:
15-39 Crawley Down Road (63 houses) - Felbridge 1 minute/Imberhorne Lane 17 minutes | Developer funding – None
11a Crawley Down Road (32 houses) - Felbridge 3 minutes /Imberhorne Lane 16 minutes | Developer funding - >£50K
17 Copthorne Road (26 houses) - Felbridge 7 minutes/Imberhorne Lane 11 minutes | Developer funding >£30K
In its DPD Site Allocations Plan, MSDC has included a further site off Crawley Down Road (SA19) on which they propose building an additional 200 properties. MSDC have said that it would consider allocating some funding from that site should it be approved.
15-39 Crawley Down Road – DM/17/2570 – 63 houses
1. The MSDC Community Leisure Officer advised in June 2017 “Local Plan Policy R3 states that new residential development will not be permitted unless it incorporates appropriate outdoor playing space in accordance with the NPFA (now Fields in Trust) recommended minimum standard. In accordance with this policy, we would expect the developer to provide a LEAP (Local Equipped Area for Play) on site as the nearest play area is in East Grinstead approx. 1 km away from the development site which is beyond the FIT guidelines for walking distances. (Appendix A) The Felbridge playground, field and Village Hall are so close that they are included on the development site plan.
2. FPC emailed MSDC in December 2017, with the support of the Tandridge District Council Planning Department, raising concerns about the effect of the 15-39 Crawley Down Road development on the Felbridge playground facilities and the Gullege bridleway and asking for funding. MSDC responded in January 2018 that funding had already been allocated (Appendix B)
3. No LEAP is included in the final site plan (Appendix C) despite the requirement noted in MSDC’s Local Plan Policy R3, and no funding has been provided for playground facilities or kickabout. Only a small space next to the car park has been set aside for play (LAP) for the 63 houses. If the same funding levels that have been applied to the 11a Crawley Down Road development were applied to the 15-39 development, the funding level would have been in the region of £100K.
4. The MSDC development of 60 properties in Hazel Close, Crawley Down, does include a Local Equipped Area for Play despite the existing Crawley Down playground being an eight minute walk away along residential roads.
5. When asked by FPC why no funding or LEAP had been provided, The MSDC Planning Applications Team Leader responded that “The District Council is satisfied that the infrastructure payments that have been secured accord with the relevant policies in the development plan and meet the requirements set out in the NPPF”.
11a Crawley Down Road – DM/18/3022 – 32 houses
6. The MSDC Community Leisure Officer had already noted in 1. above (Appendix A) in June 2017 that the nearest East Grinstead/MSDC playground/kickabout facility (Imberhorne Lane) was too far from that site. Despite this, in November 2018, the officer said that >£50K was required to support play and kickabout for this close neighbouring development at the same Imberhorne Lane location. (Appendix D)
7. FPC wrote to MSDC to request that since this development was so close to the Felbridge play facilities and their officer had said that the Imberhorne Lane site was too far away, the funding should instead be spent at the Felbridge play facility. MSDC responded that they were unable to reallocate funds.
When FPC made MSDC aware of its intention to publish information in relation to the funding for play spaces, MSDC responded:
“The Officer reports for these planning applications sets out the relevant issues, the consultation responses and representations that were received and provides an assessment of how these issues were considered in order to come to the recommendation that was made. I therefore think that if anyone wishes to understand the reasoning behind the decisions that have been made on these planning applications then they should be directed to the officer reports, which are available to view on the District Councils website”.
DM/16/5502 Shirley Cottage, 17 Copthorne Road, Felbridge
DM/17/2570 15 and 39 Crawley Down Road, Felbridge
DM/18/3022: 11A Crawley Down Road, Felbridge
In addition to the application reference number quoted above by MSDC for the 15-39 Crawley Down Road development, additional documents are shown under reference number – DM/20/1078
(Note: All text quoting MSDC officers has been placed in italics)
UPDATES ON CURRENT WORKS:
There will be inevitable disruption for residents and road users during the development which will last to 2023 and possibly beyond. Each developer is required to produce a Construction Transport Management Plan (CTMP), approved by MSDC, to cover information such as working hours, deliveries, traffic routing, etc. These are uploaded at the foot of this page. General concerns or questions can be raised with MSDC on firstname.lastname@example.org or to MSDC District Councillor Rex Whittaker on Rex.Whittaker@midsussex.gov.uk. Reports of non-compliance with the contents of a CTMP can be reported to email@example.com or Tel: 01444-477334
17 Copthorne Road | Developer - Abbey Homes | 26 Dwellings | MSDC Reference No. DM/16/5502
Despite the Planning Inspectorate imposing a condition that a full Construction Management Plan had to be submitted before works commenced, the CTMP currently provided by the developer comprises a single page and does not include key information such as days and hours of work, traffic routing, parking and loading/unloading or noise management. MSDC Councillor Whittaker asked the developer for this full CTMP in December 2020. They responded that it would be provided when the Abbey Homes building team took over the site from the groundworks contractor. This happened in March but there is still not a full CTMP on the MSDC Planning Portal. HGVs continue to be onloaded on the A264 Copthorne Road causing long tailbacks for road users and blocking the nearby Star Junction.
The Planning Inspectorate have listed days and hours of work for the developments as "Works of construction or demolition, including the use of plant and machinery, necessary for implementation of this consent shall be limited to between the following times: Monday - Friday 08:00 - 18:00 Hours; Saturday 09:00 - 13:00 Hours; Sundays and Bank/Public Holidays - no work permitted".
15-39 Crawley Down Road | Developer - Vanderbilt Homes | 63 Dwellings | MSDC Reference No. DM/17/2570
The road surface for the access road is being laid on Wednesday 7th April. This will involve HGVs delivering tarmac every thirty minutes between 0800 and 1800. There will be traffic management by Vanderbilt/Lenmark staff. This has been timed for during the school Easter break. The developers brought forward works to create the access road so they could be done while Felbridge School was only partially open and this has been completed. Vanderbilt Homes further negotiated with utilities providers to work together to avoid a full closure of the road which had been approved by Surrey Highways. The Construction Manager provides regular updates which will be added to this page on receipt. Email addresses and mobile phone numbers have been made available to FPC so contact can be made 24/7
Vanderbilt have agreed to add a restriction on deliveries to their CMP to avoid the start and end of the school day during term time and to operate a 'just in time' scheme for deliveries with HGVs only called to site when space is available.
11A Crawley Down Road | Developer TBC | 32 Dwellings | MSDC Reference No. DM/18/3022
No information yet available on when works will start
Uploads: Please click on the documents below to read or download.