Wates not giving up Peninsula homes

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THE SWEET taste of success has not lasted long for residents who triumphed in a bid to block 160 homes in their village.

No sooner has the dust settled in Bracklesham, following planning inspector David Cullingford’s decision to dismiss an appeal for the new homes in Clappers Lane, when Wates Developments confirmed it had not given up hopes for the site.

The planning inspector had labelled the 160-home scheme ‘mediocre’ in its design, however he did not rule out the potential for homes to be built on the site.

Speaking this week, managing director of Wates David Brocklebank said the developer would look at the best way forward to build the homes.

“Having considered the planning inspector’s comments for the recent appeal decision, while the review has questioned the illustrative layout of the scheme, we are pleased that the underlying principle of the site’s suitability to accommodate much-needed new homes has been firmly established,” he said.

“We will, of course, now be considering our next steps to ensure the right illustrative layout is brought forward and will continue to engage with the local planning authority over the coming weeks.”

Wates also has an application for 110 homes on the site and has lodged another appeal with the planning inspectorate, claiming Chichester District Council had not decided the 110-home application in time.

The developer did exactly the same thing with the 160-home application.

For the first appeal, there was a delay as the inspector waited to see what was happening at the public examination of Chichester District Council’s local plan for the period up until 2029, which was taking place simultaneously.

In the plan, East Wittering and Bracklesham is designated a ‘settlement hub’, with the council allocating it for 180 homes in the plan period.

Speaking at the local plan hearing in October, director of planning of Genesis Planning Paul White spoke on behalf of Wates Developments.

He queried why the parish was not being allocated for more homes.

“It’s not a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, it’s just flat landscape,” he said.

A consortium of parish councils on the Manhood Peninsula grouped together to fight the 160-home plan.

Speaking to the Observer last week, Earnley councillor Robert Carey confirmed it would continue defending the site.

Wates has also highlighted comments by Mr Cullingford that the appeal proposal was a ‘reasonably sustainable addition to this settlement hub’.

“The ecological impact of the proposal would be imperceptible,” Mr Cullingford said.

“The site is some 2km away from the compensatory habitat at Medmerry, which ought to be too far for any direct or indirect effect to be evident.”