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.”