Residents in Bracklesham fear growth of homes plans in future

Residents and councillors fear plans to build 55 homes on a Bracklesham field are just part of a bigger plan for many more homes in the future.

A public exhibition was held at Bracklesham Barn, detailing plans for the homes on a nearby field at the end of Beech Avenue.

Wates Developments said the whole site would only be potentially considered once the district council’s Core Strategy was adopted later this year.

Earnley resident Keith Martin said: “If you look at the land Wates owns, the current plan is about a third of the whole site. I was told at the exhibition you could get at least get 150 houses on the site, probably up to 200.”

Mr Martin said the local infrastructure wouldn’t be able to cope with extra houses on that site. While discussing with the Observer about planning law and how developments were put forward for certain sites, assistant director for environmental and planning policy at Chichester District Council, Keith Morgan, said: “People would say you could probably get around 200 houses on that field but that’s far too big a decision for the here and now before the strategy is in place. Show me how 50 houses work.”

He added: “Show me how it works on its own. That’s what I said to them (Wates). Don’t bring forward 200 houses now.” However after making the statement, Mr Morgan said the figure of ‘200’ was only a rough figure.

East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council meets tonight at Bracklesham Barn, at end of Beech Avenue, to discuss the plans.

A Wates Developments spokesman said: “Wates Developments and the Goodman family has been promoting 19 acres of land east of Beech Avenue, Bracklesham since 2007.

“Chichester District Council is still considering a review of potential strategic locations and the full 19 acres would only potentially be considered through an appropriate ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ in the future once the Core Strategy is adopted.

“Today’s proposition is for about 55 new homes on part of the site, and this proposal is being brought forward through the council’s Interim Policy Statement ‘Facilitating Appropriate Development’, to help meet the identified need of new homes in the short term.

“We are still at early stages of consultation and would like to thank all those who attended the recent exhibition. The team is currently considering all the comments made by the community and these will help shape our proposals moving forward.”