‘Finally we have been heard’ - Residents react after Fishbourne homes plan is refused

“The community and local council have fought so hard and with such passion for all the right reasons, and finally we have been heard.”

The proposals received more than 300 official objections, with fears that the 'beautiful farmland' will be 'irreparably destroyed forever'. Photo: Kate Shemilt ks20052-3
The proposals received more than 300 official objections, with fears that the 'beautiful farmland' will be 'irreparably destroyed forever'. Photo: Kate Shemilt ks20052-3

Those were the words of one Fishbourne resident after plans to build 35 new homes at Bethwines Farm were turned down because developers were not able to justify the need for affordable dwellings in the area.

An application was submitted by Fishbourne Developments Limited in December, requesting the construction of 35 homes for first-time buyers at the land south of Ivy Lodge, Blackboy Lane.

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The proposals received more than 300 official objections and Chichester District Council has now ruled that there is ‘minimal evidence to justify the need’ for low cost home ownership ‘over and above what is already being delivered’.

Fishbourne Parish Council ‘warmly welcomed’ the decision. Chairman Geoff Hand, said: “The sheer number of objections and the large turn-out at the open meeting left no doubt as to the strength of public feeling against the application.”

District councillor for Fishbourne Adrian Moss said the site was not appropriate.

He said the plans were ‘poorly designed’ and ‘crammed too many houses onto a small site’.

Resident Rachel Kingswell said receiving the news about the refusal was ‘just wonderful’, especially in ‘such unprecedented and uncertain times’.

Fellow resident Gina Briffa said she was ‘delighted with the right decision’. She added: “It would have caused irreparable damage to high quality farmland and the surrounding area.”

Libby Alexander, on behalf of Save Our South Coast Alliance, said it was a ‘remarkable outcome’ to an ‘uphill battle’. She added: “It is a battle that covers several years and this positive outcome is testimony to the diligence and leadership of our chairman together with the enthusiasm and deep concerns of our community, hundreds of whom wrote in with their well constructed letters of opposition.

“Their fantastic response illustrates that it does occasionally pay to persevere.”

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