Fight launched to protect 'green gap' between South Downs villages
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Residents have formed an action group – Stop Storrington Sprawl – to try and protect the countryside.
Their concerns have been sparked by the removal of protection of the green gap between Storrington, West Chiltington and Thakeham in the recently revised Horsham District Local Plan.
A developable site for more than 70 houses – known as STO1 – is now being proposed to go into the gap. A spokesperson for Stop Storrington Sprawl said: “This change ignores our Neighbourhood Plan and erodes the distinctive separation and green space between the villages.
"It also harms the setting of listed buildings and damages this biodiverse wildlife corridor.
“Previous planning applications have been refused in order to protect the green gap and the setting of Heritage Assets. It is not right that these decisions should now be ignored.”
The group is calling on Horsham District Council to remove the STO1 site from its Local Plan. “We also want the Neighbourhood Plan, and its Green Gap, to be fully incorporated into the local plan, as required by the National Planning Policy Framework,” said the spokesperson.
“We ask the people of Storrington and surrounding communities to visit : stopstorringtonsprawl.uk to make representations to Horsham District Council and an independent examiner.”
Representations must be submitted to the council before March 1.
Meanwhile, residents fear that other sizeable developments around Storrington will put further pressure on local infrastructure such as schools, medical services roads, and the local water supply.
They say there are a number of brownfield sites which could provide affordable housing close to village facilities.