Goring Gap fight: Drone photos demonstrates strength of feeling as community sends defiant message to develop
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A new public inquiry on plans had been scheduled for Tuesday, February 6, as developer Persimmon continues to push to be allowed to build on the land. The inquiry has been delayed until next week because the planning inspector involved is ill.
The latest protest was organised by Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West.
Following his call-to-action, more than 300 local residents, community leaders and campaign supporters joined together to form the word ‘no’ on Chatsmore Farm on Saturday (February 3).
Sir Peter said: “Many community representatives thanked the Worthing Herald and the Littlehampton Gazette for alerting them to this important gathering to protest against Persimmon.
“Local people support Michael Gove’s words ‘protect the gaps’. I add that together we have been successful so far.
“As one united community without divide, we say NO to Persimmon.
“Let us continue to work together: keep the fields, maintain the gaps, only build where appropriate.”
Ed Miller, of the Ferring Conservation Group, said it was ‘really good to see such united support’.
He added: “The [drone] picture sends a very clear message to Persimmon: they should abandon their doomed project right now.”
Persimmon Homes’ original appeal against the council’s refusal was successful. After that subsequent decision was challenged, a court hearing was held on a ‘procedural matter’, Persimmon said.
A spokesperson for the developer added: "There is an acute shortage of new homes in Worthing which an independent planning inspector has described as ‘exceptional’. This shortage causes real problems for local people in need.
“Due to a procedural error, our original appeal which granted planning permission for this site is now having to be reconsidered, and we await the outcome of this process.
“We remain eager to deliver more affordable homes for local people in Worthing. This is why we have offered a local homes guarantee that will see a significant proportion of homes for private sale reserved for local residents.”