Back in January, developers succeeded in appealing against Arun District Council’s refusal of 200 homes in Barnham, while plans for 76 homes in the green gap between Ferring and Angmering/East Preston have been similarly approved.
In January last year, council officers also refused David Wilson Homes’ application for 155 homes on the northern edge of Walberton, a decision which the developer appealed against.
But in a decision published in late July, a planning inspector has overruled the council and granted planning permission for the scheme.
In his report Graham Chamberlain noted the development would be ‘inherently urbanising, resulting in a substantial adverse impact on its landscape character’. But he also suggested the impact on both the character and visual amenity of the surrounding area ‘would be much more limited if a sensitive design along the lines set out in the illustrative masterplan was pursued’.
He added: “The masterplan demonstrates several positive design concepts that, if followed through to the reserved matters, would provide the grounding for a scheme of suitable design quality.”
And when it came to the impact on the conservation areas, he felt an increase in traffic would be on to already established routes that are ‘not especially quiet or tranquil’.
While acknowledging the effect would be more pronounced if Tye Lane was ultimately closed because of a new Arundel bypass, he said this was ‘not currently a committed scheme and therefore cannot be reasonably expected at this stage’.
And on wide traffic matters, the inspector suggested a planning obligation which would mean the developer has to serve notice to ascertain from the county council and National Highways whether highways improvements should be delivered.
Mr Chamberlain noted Arun’s lack of a five-year housing land supply and suggested new open space would lead to a ‘significant uplift in biodiversity’ and there was also an opportunity to address surface water runoff from the site, which has been a problem in the past.
He added: “The benefits of the proposal would be of a high order and would be sufficient to outweigh the very limited to moderate harm identified to the Conservation Areas and their settings.”