Plans for care home replacing Old Clayton Boarding Kennels between Storrington and Washington refused

Plans to demolish a kennels and cattery between Washington and Storrington and build a 60-bed care home and eight bungalows have been refused by Horsham District Council.
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The application, for the Old Clayton Boarding Kennels, in Storrington Road, was turned down during a meeting of the planning committee on Tuesday (January 24).

The application was submitted by Highwood Homes Ltd and Barchester Healthcare Ltd.

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The council received 13 letters objecting to the plans, with concerns raised such as whether the location was sustainable, the loss of the kennels, and the ‘incongruous and unsympathetic’ look of the buildings.

A number of those concerns were shared by committee members who felt its location in the countryside and outside the built-up area boundary ran contrary to the Storrington & Sullington and Washington Neighbourhood Plan.

While the application was recommended for approval, the committee voted it down by two votes to ten with three abstentions.

They then agreed with a suggestion from Ray Dawe (Con, Storrington & Washington) that the reasons for rejection should also include the view that the bulk and size of the home would be ‘inappropriate for the rural location’ and would ‘significantly impact’ the aims of the Neighbourhood Plan when it came to retaining green gaps between communities.

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They were also unhappy that water neutrality had not be proven satisfactorily, which was ‘a matter of concern in view of the legal ramifications if we get it wrong’.

While officers told the committee they had ‘significant concerns’ with some of the reasons for refusal, they were given the nod by members by nine votes to four with two abstentions.

This is the third time the council has refused development on the site.

In February 2015, plans for up to 41 homes were turned down, with a similar application also turned down in September that year.

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An appeal to the planning inspectorate for the first application was then dismissed in 2016.

In their report officers said: “The scheme makes efficient use of land and optimises the provision and use of buildings, appropriately designed to reflect surroundings, and open space within the site with appropriate landscaping; harm to wider landscape character and appearance, including protected views, is mitigated.”

But ultimately councillors disagreed.

To view the plans in full, log on to and search for DC/21/2161.