Westhampnett 300-home bid takes another turn

The land at Westhampnett where 300 homes could be built
The land at Westhampnett where 300 homes could be built

APPROVE our housing scheme or face a costly planning appeal, Chichester District Council has been covertly warned by the developer behind a proposed 300-home development.

Commercial Estates Group has put in an identical planning application for land between Stane Street and Madgwick Lane to one it is currently appealing due to ‘non-determination’.

“This current application has been submitted to the council in order to provide the opportunity for a local level determination and potentially avoid the necessity of an appeal inquiry,” wrote Luke Challenger, from Nexus Planning, on behalf of the developer.

He told the council the date for determination of the first application expired in May.

Westhampnett Parish Council chairman Bill Harding said the parish would still be objecting to the number of houses proposed in the application, despite it coming down from 350.

“It’s going to be difficult because even with 300 it’s still a lot and it’s taking over a very large lump of farm land which up until now has always been open,” he said.

“We’re not over the moon about it but it’s better than it was,” he said of the developer’s decision to reduce the number of homes in the original application from 350 to 300.

The landowner of the site is DC Heaver and Eurequity Limited.

The latest proposal was described as a ‘synthesis’ of the original application plus a revision submitted a year ago.

Commercial Estates said in the design and access statement: “The outline application seeks permission for residential development comprising up to 300 residential dwellings including an element of affordable housing, with vehicular access from Stane Street and Madgwick Lane, associated landscaping, a community facility, open space and children’s play space, surface water attenuation and ancillary works.”

The site is one of those earmarked for development in Chichester District Council’s local plan and has already been met with concern by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and the Goodwood Estate.

The Observer did contact Commercial Estates Group but did not receive a response.

Lawyer fees for planning inquiries have cost the council several hundreds of thousands of pounds in recent years.

View the application by searching for 15/03524/OUTEIA at www.chichester.gov.uk

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