Lavant homes plans to be discussed at meeting

RESIDENTS will be able to hear details about controversial proposals to build homes in the sensitive countryside gap between Chichester and Lavant when developers present them to a special city council meeting next week which will be open to the public.

At Chichester City Council’s annual parish meeting, Cllr Michael Woolley said formal notification had been received from developers Taylor Woodrow that they were proposing to build on the area known as the Daffodil Field.

He said a formal planning application had not yet been submitted to Chichester District Council, but a draft plan for housing had been prepared, and the company had asked to speak to city councillors about it and will make a presentation to the city council’s planning and conservation committee.

Cllr Woolley said: “The field lies within the parish of Lavant, but we have agreed to meet them, and we will comment to the district council, which will take the decision on a planning application.”

He said although the site was not in Chichester, the proposals did directly affect it.

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 9, at the Council House, North Street, at 5.30pm.

It will be the only item on the agenda, and there would be consideration by committee members, and comments from members of the public.

“This is a pre-application proposal,” Cllr Woolley said. “They are not putting in an application at the moment, but they are clearly determined to continue this.”

The Chichester Society has said it is not in favour of development in the area and the plans are in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’.

The society said it recognised the need for new housing but new developments must be in the right location and not damage the local landscape and environment.

In a statement it said: “The need for green space between the city and Lavant village is considered vital.”

It said new housing would overload the capacity of the water and sewerage treatment plant at Apuldram and that new housing developments in the city were already restricted because of this issue. In addition it said the site was not included for long-term housing development in CDC’s land availability study published in 2010.

Meanwhile, a separate proposal to build on land elsewhere in the gap was due to be decided by district councillors, also on May 9.

This involved plans to build 20 homes at Hunters Rest.

His committee had objected to this on the grounds that the scheme would be seriously detrimental to visual amenity, and create a precedent for further development in the gap.

Local residents had also objected.