Planning inquiry to be held for Lavant development

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CONTROVERSIAL proposals to build 92 homes in the sensitive countryside gap between Chichester and Lavant will be decided with a planning inquiry in November.

Strong objections were made during the planning application process, with many Lavant residents fearing the gap between the city and village would disappear – creating one conurbation.

The appellants, Taylor Wimpey, propose to build the 92 new homes on the land north of Keepers Wood in Lavant.

Last October, Chichester District Council voted to reject the proposals.

But South Downs National Park planning authority voted to approve the officers’ recommendation not to raise an objection to the proposals.

A report presented to the authority’s planning committee said the site was within 0.4km of the national park, but was visible from the park and The Trundle.

More than 200 letters of objection were received by Chichester District Council against the plans.

Writing on behalf of the West Lavant Residents Association, chairman Richard Hancock said: “We are residents of a hamlet which falls within the parish of Lavant and we feel strongly that Lavant should retain its own identity and not become an extension of Chichester.”

In their objection, members of the Chichester Society raised concerns about intrusion into the strategic gap, a lack of ‘high-quality design’ in some aspects and increased traffic.

Writing on behalf of the executive committee, John Pavitt said: “To sum up, we consider the proposed development of this land would be detrimental to both Chichester and Lavant without balancing benefits.”

The planning inquiry will take place at East Pallant House, in Chichester at 10am on Tuesday, 
November 26, and is expected to run for four days.