Conservatives leave Crawley defenceless against hostile development

Conservative councillors this week rejected Labour’s compromise deal on the Local Plan, leaving Crawley defenceless against hostile development.

Before Christmas, the Conservative Cabinet at Crawley Borough Council failed to pass their draft of the Local Plan following public opposition to a number of its proposals and, after rejecting amendments to resolve these issues, members of all three parties on the council voted against the plan.

The Local Plan sets out how all land in the borough can be used between now and 2030, it’s one of the most important decisions a council has to take and has one of the most significant direct impact on residents of any policy decision the council takes.

Without a Local Plan, decisions taken by the council at Development Control are severely at risk of being overturned at planning appeal. This is due to the council being obliged to make adequate provision for commercial and residential provision within the borough – through the plan – and without such provision being made all an applicant needs to show is that some need exists within the borough. Effectively the council has lost control of planning.

Cllr Lamb said,

“I am very disappointed that the compromise plan has been rejected by the Conservatives, the plan we supported balanced residents’ concerns against planning requirements and ensured that Crawley would be protected from hostile development. In rejecting any possibility of a compromise the Conservatives have effectively thrown Crawley to the wolves. Yet again we see a Conservative administration that is in office but out of control.”

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