Residents call on Michael Gove to intervene on controversial planning applications in the Manhood Peninsula

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Residents of the Manhood Peninsula are calling on Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove to take action on two controversial planning applications in the area.

Both applications were approved on appeal in 2022, having been previously refused by members of Chichester District Council. The first would see up to 100 dwellings, with associated access, landscaping and public space, built near Clappers Lane in Earnley. The second would see the construction of 70 new dwellings on land near Church Road, in East Wittering.

Even before their initial refusal, both provoked controversy amongst residents and community members. On March 1 2022, residents from across the Manhood Peninsula packed out the West Wittering Memorial Hall to fight the Church Road proposals, and residents near Bracklesham Bay flooded council offices with almost 400 objections to the Clappers Lane development the year prior.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Following months of heavy rain and more floods, residents claim both plots have been recently re-designated as likely to flood. In fact, parts of the land earmarked for the Clappers Lane development has been allocated a level three flood risk, meaning there is a high probability of flooding from rivers and the sea. A risk assessment completed as part of the original Clappers Lane application, however, eventually concluded that the “development is safe” and unlikely to increase flood risk elsewhere.

Plans for the Clappers Lane development.Plans for the Clappers Lane development.
Plans for the Clappers Lane development.

Residents are now saying that, as a result of the re-allocation, both applications should be seriously reconsidered, and have called on Michael Gove to make sure they are.

"Families will be spending their life savings and indebting themselves for decades for a property that provides none of the security associated with home ownership. It could also lead to families having to be rehoused, a circumstance for which I understand there will be Government help available,” one resident said.

"It is not about algorithms, it is about geographical constraints of which we, the locals, have much more expertise and can explain better than any developers,” adds another.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Responding to a request for comment from Sussex World, a spokesperson for Michael Gove made clear that the decision to approve both applications was made by independent planning inspectors based on evidence submitted at the appeals, and that their decision is final unless successfully challenged in court.