West Sussex housing plan: Hundreds sign petition against 400-home development despite promise of 'major benefits'

Hundreds of people have objected to plans for up to 400 new homes in West Sussex.
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Cala Homes has submitted plans to Arun District Council to bring new homes on land to the east of Westergate. The company has previously delivered homes in Angmering, Lancing, and Chichester.

Cala has said the homes will be ‘high-quality’ and 40 of them will be ‘affordable’. The ‘hybrid application’ has sought outline planning permission for the new homes and full planning permission for the proposed infrastructure.

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Jessica Sparkes, head of planning at Cala (South Home Counties) said: “We’re thrilled to submit a hybrid application for our proposed development in Westergate. This is a significant proposal for the economic, social and environmental future of the area, which will see major benefits delivered.”

Cala is proposing to build 400 homes in West Sussex. Photo: Cala Homes.Cala is proposing to build 400 homes in West Sussex. Photo: Cala Homes.
Cala is proposing to build 400 homes in West Sussex. Photo: Cala Homes.

The application has proved controversial, with more than 230 people signing a petition to object to the plans put forward.

In an objection letter, a local resident named Thomas Macready wrote: “As concerned residents and stakeholders in our community, we believe the proposed housing developments are not in the best interests of our neighbourhood and will have several adverse effects on our local environment, infrastructure and quality of life.”

Another objection letter from resident Wendy Corney raised concerns that the A29 is ‘already overstretched’ and there are ‘massive queues to get over the railway line’, without adding more houses to the area.

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Mrs Corney added: “The public transport is a laugh and one bus every two hours and no buses on a Sunday. The doctors are overstretched and so are the schools. I object to this planning application going forward.”

Should the application be granted permission, further details of Cala’s wider proposals will follow in a subsequent reserved matters application. The homebuilder intends to bring a ‘variety of choices for house hunters’.

A spokesperson for the developers said: “The mix of options means there will be suitable homes for first-time buyers, families, and downsizers.

"The development would also deliver the provision of new public open spaces, children’s play areas, and foot and cycle paths throughout the site.

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"Additionally, the application includes detailed plans for an access link bridge to the west, to be restricted to public transport, cyclists and pedestrians until the A29 realignment is complete.”

The site is allocated for residential development, as part of the Barnham Eastergate Westergate Strategic Allocation, contained within the adopted Arun Local Plan.

An online public consultation was held in October 2023, that outlined what the scheme would deliver and gave residents the chance to comment on the application.

Jessica Sparkes added: “As well as assisting the council in reducing the significant undersupply of housing within the district, the proposed new neighbourhood would also provide significant contributions towards the infrastructure requirements.

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"Additionally, we hope to deliver further support through our community pledge initiative. The submission of our plans for these high-quality new homes, in tandem with supporting the delivery of essential highways, community, utilities and green infrastructure, is a great step towards supporting Arun District Council deliver the 1,310 new homes needed in the area each year to ensure housing availability and affordability throughout the county.”