AN appeal for 50 homes in Selsey finally came to a close – more than a year after the original application was refused.
But after a long-running saga, it is now a waiting game for residents, as the planning inspector could take up to six weeks to make his decision.
Richard Bramall, chairman of Campaigners Against Over Development In Selsey (CAODIS), said the appeal was ‘just the thin end of the wedge’.
He made it clear to the inspector that residents were concerned the application, alongside a recent Pye Homes bid for 100 homes next to the appeal site, was ‘a recipe for disaster’.
But the inspector, Richard Hollox, said he could base his decision only on the application before him.
The appeal concerns rejected plans by Landlink estates for 50 homes on Park Farm in Selsey – 20 of which would be affordable.
Chichester District Council vetoed the plans in March, 2012, because the site lies on grade one agricultural land and within the Selsey-Pagham strategic gap.
At the inquiry, objectors said the development would ‘dramatically impact’ on the entrance to the town.
The appeal was due to be heard at County Hall in December, 2012, but was deferred after around 120 residents stormed the hearing.
It was then decided the appeal should be in the form of a public inquiry.
After a three-day hearing in April, the inspector made a site visit before the appellant, council and CAODIS made closing submissions on Friday (June 7).
On behalf of the appellant, Stephen Morgan, said: “Selsey is the second-largest settlement in the district and is recognised by the council as being a key and sustainable settlement hub.
“Selsey is also recognised as having a ‘high housing need’. These proposals would deliver a very valuable 50 dwellings, no fewer than 20 of which would be affordable.”
He said the area was a ‘persistently under-delivering district’ with a shortfall of nearly 1,000 homes which are supposed to be delivered in the next five years.
“The appeal site is available and ready to be developed,” said Mr Morgan.
“The emerging Local Plan confirms the sustainability and suitability of Selsey for housing development, for about 150 houses.”
The application for 100 homes neighbouring the appeal site had 42 objections from residents as the Observer went to press.
To view the application and comments, click here.