Planning appeal over 35 homes to be fought by Chichester District Council

Chichester District Council is to fight a planning appeal launched after it too long to decide on an application for 35 homes in Hambrook.

Chichester District Council is to fight a planning appeal over plans for 35 homes in Hambrook
Chichester District Council is to fight a planning appeal over plans for 35 homes in Hambrook

The application, for land off Broad Road, was received in February and the applicant worked with officers on a number of changes in an effort to make it acceptable.

But, with the process dragging on past the time usually allowed for such plans – and concerns from the applicant that they would be refused – he launched an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

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While the decision on whether to approve the application is now out of the council’s hands, members of the planning committee said they would have refused it and voted to contest the appeal.

One of the major concerns raised during a meeting on Wednesday (October 7) was the presence of electricity pylons.

Nine of the 35 homes were meant to be put up for sale while the other 26 would be affordable rented/social housing.

But, with nearby homes unable to get mortgages because of the pylons, there were fears that the new development would become an isolated island of social housing.

On top of that, questions were asked about how safe it was to build homes so close to the pylons.

Roger Gowlitt, of Chidham & Hambrook Parish Council, said: “Why is it okay to build for the less well-off under these huge obstructions.”

Another concern was the size of the development.

It was listed as an entry level exception site, providing homes for first-time buyers or those looking to rent their first home.

But such sites can only be one hectare in size. The application site is 1.3 hectares.

Adrian Moss (Lib Dem, Harbour Villages) told the meeting the application ‘could and should have been refused months ago’ and urged members to ‘stand strong, stand firm’ and contest the appeal.

The committee voted unanimously to do so.