Chichester expansion continues as 750-home plan is submitted

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PLANS to build hundreds of homes, a new school and create a new local centre have been submitted to planners.

Linden Homes and Miller Homes have submitted the first stage of their 1,600-home plan for Whitehouse Farm, west of Chichester.

Stage one comprises 750 homes and would extend westwards from Centurion Way. The application also includes provision for a country park, a local centre with retail, community employment, recreation and educational uses and a new 
primary school.

The plan is the third in the so-called ‘big four’ strategic development sites in the area to have planning applications submitted to the district council for permission.

Plans for 500 homes at Shopwyke Lakes have been approved and plans for 350 homes at Old Place Farm, in Westhampnett, are due to come before the district council’s planning committee.

Whitehouse Farm is the single-biggest application to come forward in the area since Graylingwell.

The local plan hearing, which took place towards the end of last year, saw many heated debates over the proposals for the site.

Campaigners including the Chichester Society, ChiCycle and other community groups were deeply opposed to the site and cited drainage and transport issues as particular bones of contention.

Speaking at the hearing in September, Richard Childs, chairman of the Chichester Society, said: “It’s the equivalent of putting a town whose population size is the equivalent of Midhurst slap bang on the western edge of Chichester.”

“There was concern at the stakeholder consultation on June 2 that the new local centre could have a detrimental impact on the existing local centre in the Parklands area,” said the developers in the design and access statement.

For this reason, it said the updated plan had it moved further north to increase the gap between the two.

The site totals around 120 hectares and eventually will be for 1,600 homes.

The site is a major player in the council’s local plan - the development blueprint for the area - and a big contributor towards its five-year housing supply.

As local plan negotiations continue, it is being proposed that the speed of development on the site is increased, if it is approved. Originally, it was planned that 1,000 out of the 1,600 homes would be built by 2029, however this has now been bumped up to 1,250.

To view the application and comment visit www.chichester.gov.uk and search for planning application 14/04301/OUT.