Councillors quiz Westhampnett 350-home plan developers


DEVELOPERS hoping to build 350 homes at Westhampnett were grilled at a public meeting.

The briefing at East Pallant House on Monday (July 7) was called as the Old Place Farm site is a strategic development area in Chichester District Council’s emerging local plan.

District councillor for Tangmere and Chichester east county councillor Simon Oakley asked several questions, concerning the development’s impact on the A27, whether provision for schoolchildren would be provided and the sewage.

Adam Ross from Nexus Planning said Commercial Estate Group’s plan received ‘no objection’ from the Highways Agency.

Speaking afterwards, Westhampnett Parish Council’s chairman Bob Holman said: “Cllr Oaklley put some very good questions forward – none of which I thought were adequately answered from the developer and they seemed to be on a different planet to the rest of us. They consistently referred to the fact that they had had consultations with various bodies but when it came to answering questions they were in denial.”

Antony Calvert, from the Hardhat consultancy company, spoke at the meeting.

Speaking afterwards, he said: “We knew people had significant concerns about highways. We knew we would have people concerned about the views, particularly from the Trundle and the national park.”

He added: “There’s some things we weren’t able to answer just yet because the detail to this has not been finialised.

“I think for the majority of people and the majority of questions asked, most of those issues were dealt with and I think were addressed fully.”

Former county councillor for the Westhampnett Mike Hall has protested against the scheme, writing an open letter to district council leader Heather Caird that was published in last week’s Observer (July 3).

He said he had a reply this week, stating the council would continue promoting the 350-home site to the government inspector later this year as part of the emerging local plan.

“I’m disappointed that they won’t contest it on a number of grounds,” said Mr Hall.

“The impact it will have on the local economy in particular, and events at Goodwood and the comments made by Rolls-Royce regarding their concerns for their business.”