‘Beware bullying’ warning over plan for 100-homes

RESIDENTS should guard against being ‘bullied’ into allowing 100 homes to be built in Selsey, a campaigner has warned.

Battle lines were drawn at a Selsey Town Council meeting (May 8).

Campaigner and resident Richard Bramell warned against the ‘bullying’ tactics of officers at Chichester District Council, and feared the proposals would go through anyway, despite whether residents and councillors objected.

The proposal, by Pye Homes, is for 100 dwellings just north west of Park Farm.

This comes a month before the result of an appeal for 50 homes for the Park Farm site – which is next door.

Mr Bramell is the chairman of the group Campaign Against Over Development in Selsey (CAODIS), and he said developers were trying to ‘bamboozle’ the district council, as Pye Homes had applied for permission to build 370 homes on the site in 2008 and failed.

He added: “Finally we have all observed the situation that seems to be developing in Chichester District Council planning where planning applications are decided by the council planning officers, attempting to side-step the desires of our elected representatives.

“We in Selsey want to see the views of the citizens given appropriate weight, not ignored after what has been described in the recent Donnington application as concerted bullying of our councillors by the planning officers.

“Time after time the people of this community have made their feelings known against inappropriate housing developments and time after time Selsey Council have bravely stood up to be counted and have rejected inappropriate development. Do not give in now but recommend rejection of Pye’s audacious application.”

He stressed CAODIS ‘is not against development per se’, but is against it where it is clear the town cannot to support the additional housing without prior improvements to the local infrastructure.

Gary Wood, resident and CAODIS campaigner, said: “Without regeneration of the town, which has been tried before, and an increase in local employment opportunities, which is unlikely, simply adding more people to this inadequate mix will not improve the sustainability of Selsey, or contribute to the character of the town.

“It will simply add more strain to an already overburdened infrastructure.”

The planning committee of the town council voted to object to the application, five councillors to four.

The committee recognised development was needed somewhere in the town, but eventually decided to object to the application.

A resident asked if the town council had made a section 106 agreement worth £500,000 with Pye Homes, but councillors said nothing was finalised.