Ifield development plan: ‘Should we now consider demolishing Brighton Pavilion for flats?’

Plans to build thousands of houses on land at Ifield would ‘fly in the face of Government policy.’

Friday, 9th July 2021, 12:25 pm

That’s according to local resident Malcolm Bender who maintains the development would also involve the ‘destruction of a precious piece of golfing history.’

And, he asks: “Should we now consider demolishing Brighton Pavilion to make way for a block of flats?”

The land to the west of Ifield - which includes Ifield Golf Club - has been earmarked by Horsham District Council officers for housing in a report out this week.

Ifield Golf Club could face destruction to make way for housing
Ifield Golf Club could face destruction to make way for housing

They are recommending that four development sites - which include Southwater, Billingshurst and Buck Barn, as well as Ifield - be included in Horsham’s local plan review which is due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet next Thursday (July 15).

If agreed, the document would go to the full council and then be published for a six-week period of public representation before being submitted to the planning inspector for an independent examination.

Malcolm Bender, who is one of many who have lodged strong objections to the Ifield proposals, said: “Horsham District Council seem to be poised to declare that the land West of Ifield is suitable for proposals for a 10,000 house development, linking Ifield with Faygate.

“As well as blatantly ignoring the development criteria set out by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the 3,250 first phase of the proposal to develop the site west of Ifield relies heavily for its success on the destruction of the thriving Ifield Golf Course.

“This flies in the face of Government policy which confirms that the golf course is a sporting asset that needs to be retained.

“Amongst all of this, the saddest thing is that the district council and their development proposals clearly show no respect for the enormous social and historical value, design quality and genius of this course.

“Ifield is not a farmland course to be casually abandoned in exchange for pieces of silver, it was designed and built nearly 100 years ago by golf club architects Fred Hawtree and John Henry Taylor.

“Taylor was five times Open Champion who shared in the re-modelling of Royal Birkdale Golf Club.

“J H Taylor was made president of Royal Birkdale and went on to design more than 100 fabulous courses, including Aldeburgh Championship Course and Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club.

“It is a privilege to have the work of such a golfing giant in our midst and how bizarre would it be if Horsham District Council was the first authority in the UK to permit the destruction of such a precious piece of golfing history.

“Should we now perhaps consider demolishing Brighton Pavilion, for example, to make way for a block of flats?

“Perhaps we could knock down Jack and Jill and put up a wind farm.

“As a Horsham ratepayer I take great exception at my council committing such an offence on my behalf.”