THE CHANGING face of Westhampnett was revealed this week, as plans were published for 350 homes at Old Place Farm.
If they get the go-ahead from Chichester District Council, developers hope to start work on the agricultural site in late 2015.
The application was submitted earlier this month and now it is available to view online, allowing residents to get a clear look at what the future could hold.
Commercial Estates Group is the developer and along with the landowners has enlisted the help of architecture company Adam Urbanism.
“The site is under the control of the applicant and therefore there are no landownership issues,” said the design and access statement.
“There is also no need for any remedial works to the site.
“Therefore once outline planning permission is granted, a reserved matters application can quickly follow, allowing development to commence following approval.”
If the site is given permission, the developer has indicated the development would be built in stages, between 2015 and 2019.
The focal point of the new community would be a central village green, according to the developer. Described as a ‘simple elegant space’, it is set to be situated on the eastern side of the development.
Under current designs, there would be two main road entrances to the site, one on Madgwick Lane and one on Stane Street.
The Stane Street entrance is described as the ‘primary entrance’ and would break through the existing hedgerow, which would otherwise be retained, albeit with a trim to remove some of its bulk.
The architects say they have created a ‘hierarchy of spaces’, to enhance the ‘overall sense of space’ in their designs.
The developer also claims the proposals would make a major contribution to future housing provision in the Chichester district.
Affordable housing will be provided on the site, with 30 per cent of the overall homes to be affordable – the minimum required by the district council. “In the interests of providing socially-integrated communities, the design allows for affordable housing to be interspersed with private market housing,” said the design and access statement.
“The affordable housing will be designed to the same external specification and visually will be indistinguishable from the private market housing.”
Commercial Estates Group has met with residents and the parish and district councils in the past few months on many occasions.
Many residents have opposed the scheme, citing the permanent impact it would likely have on the village and the burden it would place on the infrastructure.
A public consultation was held on November 26, 2013, from which the developer said it amended the plans to provide ‘buffer woodland planting to the eastern boundary with paddocks’, as well as ‘moving development closer to Madgwick Lane further north’.
Following a meeting with district council officers in February this year, it also reduced the proposed numbers on the site from 375 to 350.
In its design and access statement, the developer said it ‘made every effort to address concerns where considered reasonable and appropriate’.
The developers have said ‘careful consideration’ was given to the draft local plan, which sets out the Westhampnett site as a preferred place for development.
The developer said it wanted the site to be a ‘good neighbour’ to occupiers of existing development nearby.
To view the application in full, go to www.chichester.gov.uk and search for application 14/01159/OUT.