Chidham and Hambrook will fight ‘ill-thought-out’ developments

An action group has warned it will ‘fight those not willing to respect local parish and resident views’ when it comes to planning applications.

Application site and illustrative layout in red
Application site and illustrative layout in red

Andrew Kerry-Bedell, of Save Our Harbour Villages, spoke after Chichester District Council’s planning committee voted to contest an appeal over plans for 35 homes off Broad Road, Hambrook.

The appeal was launched for non-determination – meaning the council had taken too long to decide whether or not to approve the plans.

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But during a meeting last week, the committee said it would have refused the application anyway, raising concerns about the size of the development and whether nearby electricity pylons would make it impossible for people to get a mortgage.

Questions were also asked about whether the Thornham waste water treatment works would be able to cope with the extra demand. 

The decision to fight the appeal was described as ‘positive’ by the action group.

Mr Kerry-Bedell said: “Developers taking legal action for non-determination of planning applications is not going to go unchallenged.”

He added that most of the parish wanted no more than 200 homes built over the next 15 years, with many residents talking about ‘taking direct public action against rogue developers who try and force through large housing projects’.

The council’s planning portal currently includes at least seven applications in the Hambrook area, in various stages of completion.

Together they would total more than 530 new homes.

Mr Kerry-Bedell said: “I hope all developers sit up and take notice of this immediately.

“If they try to work against the parish and council, we have access to sympathetic legal counsel and marketing funds to fight those not willing to respect local parish and resident views with their planning applications.” 

Jane Towers, vice-chair at Chidham & Hambrook Parish Council, said many developers had seen the government’s planning overhaul and the district council’s Interim Policy Statement – which will guide development until the Local Plan Review is adopted – as ‘an open invitation to push through opportunistic and premature planning applications in Chidham & Hambrook’.

She added: “We are committed to ensuring that the three villages in our parish are not subsumed with housing through ill thought-out and inappropriate planning applications, to the detriment of our residents and the environment.

“Let’s be clear, in the coming months every single developer proposal here is going to get full and meticulous scrutiny from both parish and district councillors.”

Chidham & Hambrook Parish Council will be holding a public meeting via Zoom to discuss overdevelopment of the village. It will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday October 29. If you are a local resident, please email the clerk on [email protected] for an invitation.