Chichester housing scheme gets the go-ahead

Winden Avenue's old Heritage site''''C120091-1 Chi Winden Heritage  Photo Louise Adams
Winden Avenue's old Heritage site''''C120091-1 Chi Winden Heritage Photo Louise Adams

A former sheltered housing site has been given the green light to be demolished and turned into homes for older people.

The former Heritage site in Winden Avenue will now be transformed into 92 homes consisting of 36 open market and 56 supported housing units.

Although Chichester district councillors sitting on the development control committee south were in favour, there were still some concerns about traffic travelling along Winden Avenue.

Cllr Anne Scicluna said both Winden Avenue and Cambrai Avenue were very narrow and hoped this would be taken into account when works vehicles were sent to the site.

“However, having said that, it is to be welcomed.

“We need homes for local people and it’s good to have that large site used in a friendly and useful way.

“All in all I am very much in favour of this as are the neighbours. People in Winden Avenue have been waiting for this to come to fruition.”

There were also fears there could be a safety issue concerning cars and the entrance to the pedestrian path to the site, designed as a continuation of Winden Avenue, but area planning manager Peter Filtness said he did not think cars would be speeding along.

This is the second scheme the Hyde Group has submitted for the site. The first was refused on the grounds there were too many units, insufficient car parking and there was criticism over the impact the buildings would have on the area.

In the new scheme the elaborate roof has been changed and the scale of the buildings have been reduced. Instead of 97 homes there are 92, and 72 car parking spaces.

Cllr Martyn Bell said: “It still has a block appearance but I appreciate that is a price we have to pay for not having a building that is higher.”

Geraint Jones, an associate with Pegasus Planning Group said it would make ‘real and meaningful’ contributions to the housing stock.

“There is a real desire locally to see the site redeveloped and brought back into active use and remove the existing dilapidated buildings.”

But Winden Avenue resident Colin Turnbull said the same problems remained with the site.

“We objected before because of the high volume of dwellings and there was a limited amount of parking.

“There is still not enough parking and 92 homes is still too high a density, they are squeezing an awful lot of homes into a small area.

“We are served by a very narrow single road, there is parking on both sides and the fire brigade have an awful job getting down the road when everyone’s back in the evening and parked.”

The district council said this type of scheme was much needed because of the growing population of older people in the city.

It said there were currently 60 households on the council’s housing register requiring sheltered housing.

New accommodation on the Heritage site would enable people to downsize, and as a result would release larger homes to families.