Developers unveil plans to build 247 new homes in South Downs village
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But residents are concerned that the development would ‘double the size of the village,’ that roads could not cope with extra traffic and say there is a lack of infrastructure.
Bellway wants to build a mix of houses and flats on 38 acres of land west of Storrington Road. In a statement to the council it says its vision is to ‘rejuvenate the landscape and create a distinctive sense of place by celebrating the former mushroom farm’s unique history.’
It points out that a recently-built residential development lies to the south-east of the site – called Abingworth Meadows – which includes a range of new homes, a village hall, a shop, a doctor’s surgery, a pre-school, community workshops, sports pitches and changing rooms, a pavilion and a children’s play area.
Phase 1 and 2 of the Abingworth scheme have been completed and phase 3 is currently still under construction. Bellway says: “This sets the precedent for new development in the area, and provides new local facilities and amenities within walking distance of the site.”
Although the mushroom farm is no longer in use, there are a number of derelict buildings, warehouses and admin blocks on the site which Bellway plans to demolish to make way for the new homes.
In its statement to the council, Bellway says the developent “will provide 247 dwellings including affordable to support the identified housing need in the district.” It also says it will provide ‘a significant area of public open space, akin to a countryside park.’ It adds that the development would be ‘water neutral’ as it would not result in further water consumption.
However, local residents have raised a string of objections. One said: “The development is too big for the size of the village – it will double in size!”
Another said: “Thakeham is meant to be a hamlet! An extra 247 houses won’t make it a hamlet any more.”
And another pointed out: “There has already been a substantial increase in residential properties in the village. The roads cannot cope. The schools are over-subscribed.”