Uproar at man's plan to turn public pavement into a bigger garden

Dozens of people are up in arms over one man's application to buy pavement outside his home and turn it into extra garden space.

The pavement that would be purchased. Picture:Google Maps/Google Streetview
The pavement that would be purchased. Picture:Google Maps/Google Streetview

Paul Collard has reportedly made a ‘generous offer’ for pavement in Watersedge Gardens, off Shore Road, West Wittering, owned by West Sussex Highways.

Among those objecting to the plans submitted to Chichester District Council is East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council.

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A council spokesman said: “Shore Road is the main access to the beach at East Wittering and does not have continuous footway throughout its length.

A sketch plan of how the site will be changed if the purchase is successful. Picture: Council Planning Portal

“There is a necessity to walk in the roadway and this particular area, where a footway does exist, becomes vital as a much needed area of safety for pedestrians, especially those who are less manoeuvrable with pushchairs and wheelchairs.

“The parish council notes a generous offer has been made to the county council to acquire this area of footway, but was unaware this area of land was available to purchase.”

The plans Mr Collard submitted to Chichester District Council say that despite losing a stretch of pavement, ‘the pathway forming a part of the public highway will maintain a width of at least two metres throughout the length of the frontage’.

West Sussex Highways said in a statement attached to the application that there are ‘no highway safety concerns to the proposals’.

Their spokesman added: “From an inspection of the plans a sufficient width of footway will remain without impacting on the safety of pedestrian movements.”

But more than 30 letters and comments objecting to the planning application have been received by Chichester District Council.

Barbara Robinson, who lives in nearby Longlands Road, said: “Shore Road throngs with people at many times of year and the section of pavement in question is a very much-needed refuge before needing to walk into the road.

“Those of us who are aware of the application are somewhat irate about this, and cannot quite believe that West Sussex County Council can be allowed to sell public land in this way.”

What do you think of the plans? For more details and to make comments, search 17/03295/FUL on Chichester District Council’s planning application portal.