FEARS over foul sewage drainage are standing in the way of a 50-home development in West Wittering.
Proposals for the new homes were brought before Chichester District Council’s planning committee on Friday.
But the plans were deferred – pending promises from Southern Water that the area’s foul drainage system would be able to cope with the new homes.
“The thing that really concerns me is the connection to the foul sewage,” said Cllr Pieter Monteyn.
He said he hoped the developers would work with Southern Water to deal with the problem ‘adequately’.
“Anything less than that will not work with the community,” said Cllr Monteyn.
“We have to demonstrate that there is a condition – it is not for us to judge whether or not they are adequate.Otherwise I’m pretty happy.”
A report considered by the committee said: “There is inadequate capacity in the local network to provide foul sewage disposal to service the proposed development.
It said ‘additional off-site sewers’ or improvement to existing sewers would be required.
The development includes 20 affordable homes on land north of Chaucer Drive.
West Wittering residents complained about the old sewage system on the Manhood Peninsula in 2012 – with tankers being called in to pump sewage away.
In July last year, Southern Water began improving the sewage system by installing a new pipe in East Wittering.
Andrew Frost, planning officer for Chichester District Council, said: “I fully understand these concerns and we want to avoid a repeat of what happened elsewhere.”
But Cllr Henry Potter said he did not trust Southern Water ‘as far as he could throw them’.
Stuart Goodwill, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said: “There has been no objection from West Wittering Parish Council.
“I genuinely believe this is testament to our work with the village. We held a consultation which was a well-attended event.
“The reason the scheme generated very little public objection is because we listened.”
East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council has raised objections to the plans.
The planning committee voted unanimously to defer the planning application pending an agreement about foul sewage disposal.