40 years ago

FROM the West Sussex County Times of Friday, July 23, 1971.

CRAWLEY should be expanded in the post-1975 period by the allocation of land for 3,500 houses in Horsham rural district between the Horsham-Crawley railway line and the Horsham-Crawley road, think West Sussex County Council planners.

But Horsham Rural Council has hit back with a statement reviewing ‘with concern and alarm’ any reduction of the gap between the two towns of Horsham and Crawley.

The rural council strongly objects to the dimensions and shape of the incursion into the rural district which would be made if land was allocated for 3,500 houses on the lines accepted in the county planning officer’s report on Crawley’s short-term housing needs.

The rural council was told by the planning committee that it had reminded the county council that they have restated their adherence to the principle that there should be no coalescence of Crawley and Horsham.

Maj E.A. Calvert, Colgate, said that what was proposed would bring Crawley to within two miles of Horsham’s eventual line of expansion. “With only a gap of two miles between the two,” he warned, “it would only be a matter of time before the gap was filled and the two places made one.”

He said the new combined town would probably be renamed ‘Crawsham’.

“We should resist to the utmost,” he insisted, “any attempt by Crawley to squeeze its way into the green gap that divides us.’’

PALLINGHURST Hotel, a country house hotel and conference centre at Rudgwick, has been bought by the Rikkyo School of Japan, for the education of children of Christian Japanese diplomats in this country, and as a finishing school for Japanese students.

The mansion and its 17 acres overlooking the Sussex countryside have been sold by Mr and Mrs John Carter. The Carters have already moved out and some of the school’s English staff have moved in to prepare the school for the first students.

There is a large number of Japanese who are Christians, and the negotiations for the building were made with the help of the Church Missionary Society.

FEDERATED Design and Building Group Ltd, the development company which built the Greenfields estate at Roffey, paid £65,000 for about two and a half acres of land in Henfield with planning permission for 25 houses.

The land was the Henfield station site, including three cottages standing in about an eighth of an acre.

It was bought some years ago by West Sussex County Council, as part of the Horsham to Shoreham railway line, which was closed down by British Rail.

The sale was conducted by Weller Eggar estate agents. Their auctioneer, John Mellis Smith, said before bidding began: “This land offers an exceptional opportunity to the developer. I assure you that we have never had such a demand for houses under £10,000 in this area.”

Bidding began at £20,000 and rose, at first slowly, by steps of £1,000. Three or four serious bidders took the price higher and higher, and two of them carried on against each other beyond £60,000. The hammer came down at £65,000, and the land was Federated’s – at £26,000 an acre.

The price was a good deal higher than many people expected, and even Mr Smith commented: “It was a very reasonable result indeed.”

The station was a small part of a county council package purchase in August 1968 when £153,253 was paid for 185 acres of railway land, this including eight railway stations and 11 cottages.