Hundreds in protest over plans for 265 new homes on greenfield South Downs site

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Hundreds of people are expected to attend a protest meeting this week over proposals to build 265 houses on a greenfield South Downs site.

Specialist land promotion company Richborough Estates is seeking planning permission from Horsham District Council to build the new estate on land north of Glebe Farm and Kings Barn Lane in Steyning.

But the proposals have sparked a flood of objections from local residents who have formed an action group – Glebe Farm Opposition Group – which maintains that the development, if it goes ahead, would see a 12 per cent increase in the size of the town.

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A spokesperson said: “Feelings about this are running very high, with the overwhelming response being one of opposition.”

The site in Steyning where it is proposed to build 265 new homesThe site in Steyning where it is proposed to build 265 new homes
The site in Steyning where it is proposed to build 265 new homes

Under its proposals, Richborough Estates wants to demolish a building – No 37 Kings Barn Lane – to make way for the 265 new homes, and provide a new pedestrian, cycle and emergency link, a new three-arm access roundabout from the A283 Steyning By-pass, a community orchard, public open space and children’s play area.

But residents have submitted scores of protest letters to Horsham District Council in a bid to halt the development. Glebe Farm Opposition Group says the development would put huge pressure on already overstretched public services including primary and secondary schools, health, dental and sewage services and would lead to a huge increase in traffic on already busy roads.

They say that water neutrality requirements would not be met as there are currently no existing dwellings on the site ‘so any development would have an adverse effect on the water table.’

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Steyning Society also opposes the development and says: “This is a speculative planning application with no foundation or relationship to the needs of Steyning or its community. We consider that it should be refused on the basis of prematurity, scale, design and lack of community consultation.”

The protest meeting is to be held on Wedneday (May 15) at 7pm in the Steyning Centre. Horsham District Council is expected to consider the proposals within the next few months.

Richborough Estates says it provides housebuilders with ‘oven-ready’ land to accelerate building.