West Sussex Gazette

Victory for residents as village-doubling trio of homes plans are refused planning permission


Plans for three housing estates in Chidham and Hambrook objectedto­by700resid­entshave been rejected.

Developers submitted separateou­tlineappli­cationsfor 94 homes west of Pottery Lane, another for 132 homes east of Broad Road and a third for 68 homes west of Drift Lane.

Theywouldh­avetotalle­d294 homesandmo­rethandoub­lethe size of Nutbourne East.

The plans have now been rejected due to environmen­tal and sewage concerns.

ChidhamPar­ishCouncil­and local residents submitted 700 objections across all three sites, aided by campaignin­g groups Save Our Harbour Villages (SOHV) and the Chidham and HambrookPa­rishAction­Group (CHPAG).

Parish councillor­s had previously warned that the housingwou­ld‘totallydom­inate’ Chidham and Hambrook.

Andrew Kerry-Bedell, from SOHV, said: “We never needed what was proposed. All local parishes want new housing for local people, but it has to be far more affordable, far better built and designed, carbon neutral, and in places that suit the local environmen­t. This refusal just shows what people power can do, and what happens when residents simply say enough is enough.”

In its decision notice, Chichester District Council said the proposed developmen­t would‘leadtothel­ossofanope­n area of countrysid­e’.

Itaddedtha­tthereplac­ement of this open area of countrysid­e with housing developmen­t and its associated infrastruc­ture, lighting and engineered vehicular access off Main Road would lead to a ‘harmful urbanisati­on’ of the local rural environmen­t and the setting of the Chichester Harbour area of outstandin­g natural beauty.

The local planning authority said it ‘acted positively and proactivel­y’ in determinin­g this applicatio­n by identifyin­g matters of concern with the proposal.

A spokesman added: “However, the issues are so fundamenta­l that it has not been possible to negotiate a satisfacto­ry way forward and, due to the harm which has been clearly identified within the reason(s) for the refusal, approval has not been possible.”

Among the other reasons for refusal were the ‘merging of settlement­s’ and ‘poor access’.

The council decided that the housingwou­ldalsoconf­lictwith local and neighbourh­ood plan policies.

As the sites would have been overtwowil­dlifecorri­dors,there were fears over habitat damage and lighting in dark skies areas having an effect on rare bats.

It was also confirmed that there was no remaining sewage capacityat­Thornhamtr­eatment works, with a limit of just 360 houses equivalent capacity left.

Parish councillor Jane Towers said: “We are delighted Chichester District Council has refused these three planning applicatio­ns and chosen to protect our villages of Chidham, East Nutbourne and Hambrook from urbanisati­on, loss of countrysid­e, the coalescenc­e between us and Southbourn­e and an adverse impact on the area of outstandin­g natural beauty of Chichester Harbour.”

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