94 Chichester homes approved - but water company must confirm network can take the strain
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The outline application from Landlink Estates Ltd for Charmans Field, in Marsh Lane, was given the nod during a meeting of the planning committee on Wednesday (November 8).
The decision was by no means unanimous, coming in at six votes to three, with some councillors keen to defer the plans for more information about drainage.
This had already been done in July, with questions raised about foul and surface water drainage, lighting, transport, the upkeep of Pagham Rife and the area’s education provision.
Officers were happy that all issues had been addressed – though a condition was added to the permission stating that, in light of foul sewage drainage issues in the area, no one would be allowed to move in until Southern Water confirmed in writing that the network could take the extra strain.
This itself was an issue raised by public speakers, who reported that raw sewage had been seen bubbling up from manholes in the area during the recent bad weather, with the local school also reporting blocked drains.
Henry Potter (Con, Goodwood) had strong words for Southern Water.
He said: “There are so many issues apparent in the area with the drainage system that have been highlighted and they just shrug it off quite flippantly and [say] they will deal with it.
“I want to see a guarantee of how they will deal with it before I support this application.”
The idea of deferring the application did not go ahead, though, due to fears that the applicant would launch an appeal on the grounds that the council had taken too long to come to a decision.
Such an appeal would be extremely difficult for the council to win – and potentially costly to lose – especially as it is unable to show that it has the required five-year supply of housing land.
And so, the application was approved.
The new development will be accessed from Lagness Road, with 28 of the homes on the 6.9 hectare site classed as affordable.
The homes will also be built using a ‘fabric first’ approach, with updated insulation, solar panels, water limited to 110 litres per person per day, and electric vehicle charge points for all homes.
Following the meeting, Annie Maclean, chairman of North Mundham Parish Council, said the parish was ‘very disappointed that the application has been approved’.
A statement from the parish council added: “The parish council continues to be concerned about the detrimental effect that this application will have on the existing residents of the parish, and for the potential new residents of Charmans Field, in relation to sewage, surface water, light pollution, access to the site and educational places at North Mundham Primary School.”