Westhampnett exhibition for Old Place Farm housing site

The proposed Westhampnett development site.  Based on Ordnance Survey Mapping � Crown copyright. Media 063/13
The proposed Westhampnett development site. Based on Ordnance Survey Mapping � Crown copyright. Media 063/13

MIXED reviews greeted an exhibition of plans for more than 400 homes.

Hosting the event on Tuesday (November 26), developer Commercial Estates Group said it wanted to get ‘constructive feedback’ on the Old Place Farm scheme, in Westhampnett.

Resident Gary Rustell, of The Sadlers, said the exhibition had not contained any surprises.

“I feel the developers are forcing the district council into making decisions, perhaps before the local plan has run its course,” he said.

“The biggest concern is the infrastructure.”

He said there was a ‘big question mark’ about the school’s capacity to cope with additional children and ability of the roads to cope with the increased number of vehicles.

He insisted it was up to the district council and the parish council to fight to get the best for residents.

“If they don’t come up trumps and insist on a decent solution for the infrastructure it would be a troubling issue because we would be back to the same old things.”

He added: “The developers are clearly testing the water to see how much they’re going to have to fight for this.

“There’s not droves of people coming out banging on the table.”

Plans were initially for 1,500 homes in Westhampnett, but this was later reduced to around 500.

County councillor for Chichester North Jeremy Hunt said he had ‘extreme concerns’ about the proposal.

“How far can you push, at the end of the day,” he said.

“Westhampnett could become a suburb of Chichester.

“The local development framework emphasises the importance of the strategic gap.”

Project development manager Jon Allen said CEG had worked on plans for the 350-400 homes – the first part of the 500 – proposed for Westhampnett, for the past couple of years.

“We’re here to engage and get feedback, comments and thoughts on the proposals emerging through the local plan,” he said.

“We’re very pleased with the turnout today and very encouraged that so many councillors and stakeholders came.

“We’re genuinely interested to shape our proposals so we’re grateful for people taking the time to attend.”

For more information on the plans, visit www.cegchichester.co.uk.

Around 70 to 80 people attended the exhibition at the Chichester Park Hotel.