Worthing MP calls for Goring Gap homes plans to be overturned in Prime Minister’s Questions plea

Development of part of the Goring Gap took centre stage at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) yesterday (Wednesday, March 16) with the government urged to overturn plans for nearly 500 homes.

A previous protest against plans for part of Goring Gap. Picture by Derek Martin
A previous protest against plans for part of Goring Gap. Picture by Derek Martin

Persimmon Homes won its appeal last month to build 475 homes at Chatsmore Farm – plans opposed by more than 1,000 residents, Worthing Borough Council and MP Sir Peter Bottomley.

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Developer wins appeal over plans for 475 homes at Goring Gap

Sir Peter wrote to Secretary of State Michael Gove in the wake of the planning inspector’s decision, urging him to overturn the ruling.

Chatsmore Farm. Picture by Derek Martin

And yesterday, he repeated his call at PMQs.

He said: “In addition to having concerns for Ukraine, my constituents are also concerned about planning policy.

“I wrote to the Prime Minister in October 2019 about the threat to the Goring gap. It is against government policy and against the public interest for every green field that is a strategic gap to be built on.

“An inspector has made a decision that would wipe away the planning powers of every local council in the country. May I ask whether the Prime Minister will see me and whether the government will revoke this inspector’s mistaken decision?”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was not present at PMQs on Wednesday, due to his visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Instead it was left to Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab to respond to the MP for Worthing West.

Mr Raab said: “I thank my honourable friend for that. As someone with a massive proportion of green belt in my constituency, I empathise with the frustrations that members from across the House feel with some planning decisions that are made.

“However, once a planning decision is final, it cannot be challenged unless it is successfully challenged in the courts.”

Worthing Borough Council previously said it was reviewing its options in the wake of the inspector’s decision. See the full story here.

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