Controversial plans for 67 homes near Bognor Regis withdrawn

Plans for a controversial 67 home development in Middleton-on-Sea have been withdrawn.
The proposed 67 home development on Elm Farm, Acton Lane, Middleton. Image: planning documentsThe proposed 67 home development on Elm Farm, Acton Lane, Middleton. Image: planning documents
The proposed 67 home development on Elm Farm, Acton Lane, Middleton. Image: planning documents

The plans for a development on land south of Ancton Lane in Middleton have been withdrawn after Arun District Council officers said they would be recommending refusal when the application came before the council’s planning committee.

The development would have seen some grade II listed heritage buildings on nearby Elm Farm demolished for being ‘dangerously dilapidated’, according to developer Kinstead Developments, with two existing barns to be converted into storage for potential residents.

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The council’s conservation officer said the development’s position near heritage and non-heritage listed assets would be ‘harmful’, due to a reduction in the agricultural ‘buffer’ between existing urban areas and the assets.

Middleton-on-Sea residents' campaign sign. Photo: contributedMiddleton-on-Sea residents' campaign sign. Photo: contributed
Middleton-on-Sea residents' campaign sign. Photo: contributed

They said: “The design of the houses and elements of the barns, which will be kept and converted into storage, is poor and clearly not based on a sound assessment of the houses in the lane.”

The council’s ecology officer also said they could not recommend the development, due to ‘insufficent’ data about bat nests and how the development would work to mitigate the impact on native bats.

Around 30 pages of letters of representation, mostly objecting to the development, were submitted by residents on the council’s planning portal totalling roughly 300 submissions.

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One of the leaders of the residents’ campaign against the development, Steve Christie, said he and other campaigners were ‘very pleased’ the application was withdrawn, saying he hopes Kinstead and Arun District Council re-assess the ‘financial viability’ of the site.

Kinsted Developments LLP is a joint venture between West Sussex County Council and developer Lovell Partnerships started in 2021.