110 Manhood Peninsula scheme deferred as debate rages

The field off Clappers Lane, on the border of Bracklesham and Earnley
The field off Clappers Lane, on the border of Bracklesham and Earnley
  • Wates Developments wants to build 110 homes on a field between Earnley and Bracklesham
  • All the parishes on the Manhood Peninsula have grouped together to oppose the plan
  • A previous appeal for 160 homes on the site was dismissed
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A PLANNING battle looks set to rage on after residents successfully managed to stall an application for 110 homes on the Manhood Peninsula.

Homeowners and parish councillors rallied together at last week’s Chichester District Council planning committee to decide Wates Developments’ bid for 110 homes.

A few of us around this table would like to see this development killed

Fred Robertson, member of the planning committee

Planning officers recommended approval of the scheme on land near Clappers Lane, Earnley, but the committee voted to defer their decision and explore alternative access to the development.

Councillors also insisted on a site visit.

Chairman of Earnley Parish Council Keith Martin said residents had concerns about access.

“We believe a much better location for the access would be in the north-west corner of the site,” he said.

“This could be achieved very quickly as it does not represent a major task. The benefits to the existing residents in moving the site access would be significant.

“We have been speaking with the developer and they are being positive in offering to engage and consult with the parish and its residents.

“The aim is to look to move the access arrangements to meet the legitimate concerns of residents.”

Speaking on behalf of Wates Developments, David Brocklebank said the houses would be built during 2016 and 2017 and would make a ‘key contribution’ to meeting the district’s affordable housing needs.

He said: “We have shown our willingness to listen, by reducing the scheme from 160 dwellings to 110, with a much improved design.

“This application is an outline so there is still an opportunity to engage with councillors and residents.”

Councillors praised residents for their ‘measured and calm’ approach to the application.

“Their systematic approach is emblematic of the way the Manhood works together,” said Cllr Pieter Montyn.

“But many real concerns remain.”

Those concerns include sustainability of the development and a lack of employment in the area. Some are also worried about the impact upon the Medmerry reserve.

Cllr Fred Robertson said: “A few of us around this table would like to see this development killed.”

Cllr Julia Tassell added: “I think it’s in the wrong place. “The parish council has chosen other sites.

“There are no jobs, no doctors, no secondary schools, they are going to congest the roads.

“It’s just a rubbish site and the neighbourhood plan is not far way.”