FEARS over a ‘failing’ sewage system have prompted Chichester District councillors to defer plans to build 27 new homes in Rowan Nursery in Bell Lane, Birdham.
Residents from neighbouring Pipers Mead raised their concerns about the impact of new development on the infrastructure, arguing that they already have sewage problems in their houses.
Speaking on behalf of Birdham and Earnley Flood Action Group at Wednesday’s area development management committee meeting, Carolyn Cobbold said: “If this gets passed and drainage worsens, residents will take action.
“The wellbeing of the local community should be placed above housing needs.”
Councillor Tull slammed Southern Water’s input as ‘pathetic’ after it made no reference to the existing issues.
Cllr Robertson said: “Residents at Pipers Mead are telling us that the sewage backs up.
“There is nothing that has been said that convinces me this should go ahead.
“The problem should be investigated before we consider this application.”
Andrew Frost, planning officer, said: “Clearly it is a problem but it is not enough of one to withhold the matter.”
David Lowsley, senior engineer at Chichester District Council, said he would help Birdham residents resolve the problem.
Councillors voted to defer the application in view of the concerns which are ‘clearly happening’ at Pipers Mead.