Chichester’s Toyota franchise set to move from The Hornet

WKB Toyota in Chichester, which is likely to be knocked down and turned into flats
WKB Toyota in Chichester, which is likely to be knocked down and turned into flats

A CAR showroom could be knocked down to make way for sheltered housing.

WKB Toyota is planning to move to a new site in the city, leaving its current home likely to be turned into 35 flats.

Churchill Retirement Living has submitted an application for the site in The Hornet.

“We’ve all but outgrown this particular site,” said WKB Toyota group sales director Mike Fenlon.

He said there were two possible sites in the Chichester city area the firm was awaiting final costings on.

“It’s our complete intention to go forward on one of the two possible sites, which will be slightly bigger but we’re keeping the Toyota franchise within the Chichester city area,” he said.

“Ideally we’re going to be operating on the current site until the new site is completed and then we will just transfer all staff and everything along.”

He said relocation and sale would ideally be done by April, 2017.

Last Wednesday, Chichester City Council raised no objection, although there was concern about flats overlooking Guilden Road. According to Churchill’s application, the new buildings would vary between two and four-storey blocks.

“The proposal optimises development opportunities for this site with a building of appropriate footprint, height, scale and mass in line with the local character of the area,” said the company.

However, there is disagreement about how much the firm should pay not to have to build affordable homes on the site.

At 35 flats, 11 affordable homes would normally be required.

“It is extremely unlikely that a combination of affordable and private sheltered housing on this site would provide a successful housing development and it is not possible to partition the site to accommodate two buildings of sufficient size to achieve a sustainable sheltered housing scheme and a separate affordable housing scheme of 11 apartments each with its own access, parking and grounds,” Churchill Retirement Living told the council.

However, it claimed there were ‘fundamental issues’ with how the council calculated a payment of £596,400. The developer claims £277,200 is more accurate.

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