160-home Bracklesham development appeal dismissed

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News

A ‘MEDIOCRE’ plan to build 160 homes in Bracklesham Bay has been rejected.

But it is feared the scheme’s rejection could pave the way for a new housing scheme to be put forward.

Wates Development’s appeal for permission to build on land south of Clappers Lane has been dismissed by an independent planning inspector on the basis of ‘mediocre and unimaginative plans’ for the layout of the site.

Robert Carey, from Earnley Parish Council and a member The Consortium of Western Manhood Parishes, said the consortium was ‘naturally pleased’ the inspector had appreciated its arguments that the proposed build would be unsustainable and cause serious traffic congestion.

However, he said the consortium was concerned that the inspector noted two factors which weakened its ability to argue against any large developments being built in the future.

“Firstly, it is clear from the report that, had not the district council increased the local plan allocation for Bracklesham and East Wittering from 100 homes to 180 homes, then the appeal proposal might reasonably be held to be unsustainable.

“Secondly, the inspector accepted that with the announcement by the government of additional funding for road improvements on the A27, a scheme much larger than the one envisaged for the Stockbridge Road roundabout in the Local Plan could well be found and implemented.

“We have grave doubts about the feasibility of any larger scheme, which would involve significantly expanding the size of the junction and the consequent need for compulsory purchase.”

The appeal came after Chichester District Council failed to determine the application within its a set deadline.

It later said it would have refused the application, had it retained jurisdiction.

Its reasons for refusal would have included: the proposal would result in a cramped over-development of the site relative to the character of the adjacent development, a lack of employment, and the detrimental cumulative impact of developments on the already congested transport network.

The council would also have argued the developer had failed to provide adequate affordable housing and infrastructure.

Mr Carey said the consortium will turn its attention to the replacement planning application for 110 homes and defending the original allocation of 100 homes for Bracklesham and East Wittering at the Local Plan hearings scheduled for March.

See next Thursday’s Observer for Wates Development’s take on the decision.