Residents have criticised plans for 100 homes and a pub or restaurant at a greenfield site in Westhampnett – because they believe they could impact on the slow worms that live there.
Plans for the homes, a village hall, a village green and a restaurant or public house with associated parking have been put forward for the Maudlin Nursery Hanging Basket Centre at Stane Street.
Residents believe the new homes could affect the wildlife on the site, including slow worms.
However a survey of the area by the applicant, City and Urban Securities Ltd (CUSL), said there was no record of slow worms at the site. Louise Holden, of Stane Street, commented on the application. She said: “This development would have an adverse impact on the environment for many species such as slow worms and skylarks which are found in the local area.”
Heather Johnston, also of Stane Street, who noticed a healthy population of slow worms in her back garden, said the plans were a ‘heavy over-development of an environmentally sensitive area’.
About 40 per cent of the planned homes would be for affordable accommodation, and all the homes would come with parking and amenity space.
The other key concerns raised from all objectors on the planning application were about the impact the homes would have on traffic and on the local sewage system.
CUSL invited local residents, councillors and interested parties to an exhibition of the proposals held in April at Chichester Park Hotel.
A second pre-application meeting was held with the district council in April for 25 homes and associated access works.
CUSL has said the majority of local residents consulted were supportive of residential development on the lands at Maudlin Nursery. A key finding from the consultation process was that local residents had a preference for the community extension scheme which is the subject of this application ahead of the 25-home scheme which has been submitted alongside this application.