‘Urban sprawl’ East Wittering 320-home development proposed

A development of 320 homes on the edge of East Wittering is being proposed with objectors already arguing it would create ‘another urban sprawl’.

An environmental impact assessment screening opinion on behalf of Barrett/David Wilson Homes for land at Stubcroft Farm east of Church Road has been submitted to Chichester District Council

The 16 hectare site currently comprises two arable fields with East Wittering Community Primary School to the south and East Wittering Business Centre to the north.

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As well as up to 320 homes the proposed scheme would include a landscaped edge to the existing watercourse, around seven hectares of open space, a river walk and potential extension to the school playing fields.

DM21040650a.jpg. Developers want to build 320 homes East of Church Road, East Wittering. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-210427-165115008

The screening request says: “Whilst the overall nature and scale of the proposed development is known, the final design has not yet been fixed and will be subject to a number of iterations before the planning application is submitted. The process will draw on technical, environmental, and market considerations along with input through a separate pre-application submission to CDC and public consultation.”

The screening opinion has already attracted several negative comments from residents.

One felt the development would ‘totally ruin the area’, raising the fact the roads, drains and other infrastructure such as the doctors’ surgery and schools are all struggling to cope with the houses that have already been built.

Another objector wrote: “This development will create another urban sprawl with excess traffic jamming the one road leading off the peninsula.”

Potential layout of the development

Another resident said: “The infrastructure in the area is at breaking point without the development of more housing, the doctors, schools and roads cannot take any more without substantial investment.

“The drainage system is at capacity and often causes floods in the area and the increased traffic will mean that during the summer months it will be impossible to get around, this development and the others proposed in the area will also have an impact on the wildlife.”

Church Road was also described as ‘becoming a race track’ for vehicles taking a short cut, while it was felt that parking problems around the school would be made ‘even worse’.

Earlier this month the chairman of East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council wrote to the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick to ask for a halt to development as the parish is being ‘besieged’ by new homes.

This comes as CDC is still some time away from completing its local plan review, with developers submitting applications for a number of sites across the district in the meantime.

To view the EIA screening opinion visit www.chichester.gov.uk/planning using code 21/01090/EIA.