Plans to build houses in village south of Horsham condemned as 'madness'

Plans to build four detached houses on a green field site in a village south of Horsham are being described by local residents as ‘madness.’

Fairfax Acquisitions are currently seeking planning permission from Horsham District Council to build the houses on land off Church Farm Walk, Upper Beeding.

But scores of local residents are raising objections with concerns for wildlife in the area and fears that the development would lead to increased traffic problems.

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Glen Wilson, who has helped to create a newly-formed CFW Wildlife Protection Group, said: “Residents are quite frankly pulling their hair out with this madness.”

Louise and John Foster and Michelle and Glen Wilson at the proposed development site. They are among scores of objectors to the proposals

He added: “The planning application is for four houses, likely to be priced at over a million pounds, on a site rich with wildlife including bats, reptiles, butterflies and birds, as well as historical interest with its proximity being next to the 12th century St Peter's church.”

Fellow protester Louise Foster has raised concerns about construction vehicles using a narrow lane, as well as wildlife habitat loss.

She added: “The proposed development is not within the Upper Beeding Neighbourhood Plan for 2018-2031 and was specifically assessed as ‘not currently developable’ in the preparation of that plan.”

Objections are also being raised by Sussex Wildlife Trust which says that the site is “within the River Adur Water Meadows and Wyckham Wood Local Wildlife Site and that the development would destroy a proportion of the site.”

It is also concerned that the development might impact on the remaining wildlife site through surface water runoff “and the general litter and pollution associated with having houses in close proximity to designated sites.”

The trust says it is also concerned that no ecological information, particularly for reptiles, has yet been provided and maintains that no decision should be made before the information is put forward

Meanwhile, the West Sussex Historic Environment Record says that the proposed development is directly adjacent to the historic site of Sele Priory which was founded before 1096 and its medieval church and archaeologists are concerned that evidence of the heritage asset would be affected by the development’s proposed below-ground works.