Developer would close ‘dangerous’ level crossing between Billingshurst and Pulborough

A developer seeking to build almost 3,000 homes near Adversane said it would close a ‘dangerous’ level crossing and replace it with a bridge.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 12:47 pm

The Kingswood site is one of a number of potential housing allocations being put forward as part of Horsham District Council’s local plan review.

This week, Our Place, the company behind the proposals, has reiterated its commitment to fund the closure of the level crossing in Adversane Lane just off the A29 and its replacement with a bridge if the site is given the go-ahead.

On a visit to Adversane Lane yesterday (Tuesday) Lee White, managing director of Sterling Transport Consultancy Limited, said: “Listening and seeing what both sides have said, it is clear that Our Place and Network Rail are on the same page when it comes to this urgent problem of addressing the clear safety issues at the level crossing on Adversane Lane.

Lee White, Managing Director of Sterling Transport Consulting at Adversane level crossing. Pic S Robards SR2106155 SUS-210615-171242001
Lee White, Managing Director of Sterling Transport Consulting at Adversane level crossing. Pic S Robards SR2106155 SUS-210615-171242001

“The provision of a bridge, at no cost to Network Rail or the taxpayer and which has been done elsewhere in the UK, will enable the closure of this dangerous level crossing and result in an urgent improvement to rail and public safety.”

As part of the Local Plan consultation process, Network Rail have acknowledged this need, stating: “Network Rail supports the requirement for a new bridge over the railway removing the need to traverse the level crossing, enabling its closure.”

Discussions with West Sussex County Council on the issue are understood to have already taken place.

Dominic Richards, chair of Our Place, said: “Ever since we chose to purchase this site in Adversane, our masterplan for a walkable and sustainable new settlement in West Sussex has been designed around enabling the urgent closure of this dangerous level crossing. Work is already underway with West Sussex County Council and, should we be allocated in Horsham District Council’s local plan, we are ready to go further and faster to deliver this.

Adversane level crossing. Pic S Robards SR2106155 SUS-210615-171045001

“As master developers and legacy landowners, we are able to control the delivery of much-needed infrastructure. This is infrastructure that will not only benefit those living, working and visiting Kingswood, but local people too.”

Our Place says that its masterplan for the site safeguards land for a railway station should it be required in the future.

Campaign group BigSTAND has been fighting the proposals with an online petition having received more than 2,700 signatures.