2,500-home Crawley development is under way
WORK is under way on Crawley's "14th neighbourhood" with preliminary efforts to build the main access route into Kilnwood Vale now taking place.
Developer Crest Nicholson has started earth works on land north of the A264 (Crawley Road), between the Faygate roundabout and Bewbush Manor Roundabout.
The site, to the west of Bewbush, is in the district of Horsham, but on the boundary with Crawley.
This preliminary digging and clearing of fields is in preparation for the building of a roundabout and the main access road into the new neighbourhood which is due to begin on November 12.
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James King, project executive at developer Crest Nicholson, said: "The A264 will remain open throughout the highway works but there will be traffic management schemes in place and speed reductions.
"Once complete, motorists will travel along the A264 and approach the new roundabout. Drivers can then continue into Crawley by driving around the roundabout, or turn off and take the exit to Kilnwood Vale.
"This will be the development's major access point."
The development will be made up of 2,500 homes and is being split up into five phases.
The first will include building 291 homes and creating bus and cycle links to Crawley.
Crest Nicholson is planning for construction of the first phase of houses to begin in the new year, with a show complex finished by May.
It is hoped that people will be able to move into the first phase of homes by next summer.
Once all five phases have been completed Kilnwood Vale will have its own neighbourhood centre with a library, care home, primary school, pub, supermarket and railway station.
Outline planning permission was originally unanimously approved by Horsham District Council's development control committee, with input from Crawley Borough Council, in March 2011.
However, its construction then hinged on Crawley Borough Council agreeing to the sale of three parcels of land - near Sullivan Drive, Bewbush; close to Woodcroft Road, Ifield; and north of Horsham Road.
This was approved by the full council at a meeting in October 2011, for £3 million, and, as part of the deal, Crawley will be allocated 145 of the affordable homes that will be built as part of the project.