CHICHESTER should accept the 1,600-home Whitehouse Farm scheme is inevitable and prepare for the future, residents have been warned.
The city council’s planning committee met last night (February 12) to discuss the first phase – 750 homes off Old Broyle Road.
South ward councillor Pam Dignum said people needed to realise the houses were likely to go ahead, especially as the area is earmarked in Chichester District Council’s local plan.
“What we need to do is accept this land is very likely to be built on and then see how can we ameliorate this,” she said.
Cllr Dignum’s comments were not well received by other members of the committee, many of whom disagreed.
Fellow south ward councillor Anne Scicluna described Chichester as a ‘special place’ as a cathedral city, as did west ward councillor Richard Plowman.
The scheme came under fire from members of the public for fragmenting an area of biodiversity, the ‘unsustainable’ traffic plan, a roundabout on Old Broyle Road that raised suspicions of further long-term house plans to the north and the loss of a prime area of agricultural land.
Michael Fort, who lives at Whitehouse Farm, said it ‘beggars belief’ a 300-acre area of land could be lost for farming in the future.
“Once it’s concreted and tarmaced forever that’s food production gone forever,” he said.
The scheme is proposed by Linden Homes and Miller Homes.
They were represented by Paul Thomas at the meeting, who said the scheme would bring a number of public benefits to the city, along with a new primary school, country park and green space.
City councillors voted to defer their comments on the application for now.
It is hoped to come before Chichester District Council’s planning committee around June.
To view the application and comment, visit www.chichester.gov.uk and search for application 14/04301/OUT