Strong objections raised over plans for block of flats in South Downs village
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A charitable trust is currently seeking outline planning permission from Horsham District Council to build the flats in Fern Road, Storrington.
The Eva Clare Davidson Charity already owns two blocks of 10 flats – known as St Clare and St Francis – in the road but now wants to build a third block in a garden area.
The charity states its objective is to ‘provide low-cost housing for gentlewomen in reduced circumstances.’ However, many residents are voicing opposition to a third block being built and have sent a flurry of objections to the council. Many say it would amount to an over-development of the area and fear increased traffic problems.
One said: “Fern Road has no pavements. When the Amberly road is congested, drivers use Fern Road as a cut through. When this happens, parked cars and the increased traffic make the road hazardous. There is always a bank of cars parked outside the St Clare property. In my view,
any building works permitted at the property would only make the road more dangerous for pedestrians and residents and should therefore not be allowed.”
Another resident described the proposals as ‘ridiculous’ and said residents were ‘baffled’ at them. She said existing flat residents were mostly elderly women. “It would be very hard for them. It isn't even as if there is a need for further properties. A flat here had been vacant for six months. There is not enough space to build. It is an utterly ludicrous proposal.”
Others raised concerns over a loss of trees in the area, fears for wildlife, noise and light pollution.
In a statement to the council, the charity said it had been exploring the possibility of expanding the flats for some years. It had originally planned to build 10 flats, then eight and now a block of four.
Plans were drawn up in 1998 but, the charity said, “sadly lack of finance means these plans had to be postponed.”
It says it is now in a position to proceed.