Demolition plans for Donnington’s Selsey Tram pub and its replacement with more than 20 new homes and a convenience store has won approval from Chichester district councillors.
The scheme faced strong criticism from some local residents, with protests about the loss of the pub, overdevelopment of the site, road-safety problems, overlooking of nearby properties and lack of sufficient parking within the development.
The Selsey Tram will be the latest in a long line of pubs to disappear in the Chichester area over the past few years.
But planning officers said while the loss of the pub was regrettable, the new homes would make a significant contribution to the local housing stock.
And the store would provide a useful ‘top-up’ shopping facility for both local people and those passing through the area.
A statement from Cllr John Ridd, who represents Donnington, was read in his absence. In it he said: “The build and height of the site building is not sympathetic towards the character and surrounding area.
“It would be incongruous on this prominent site in this location.
“I am concerned about the overall inadequate level of parking.
“This is an area where residents have to contend with increasing parking by commuters and other people..”
Cllr Fred Roberston said there was ‘traffic chaos’ by the site, morning and evening.
Donnington Parish Council said: “The loss of this pub is a major blow to the area. There is no need for another convenience store.”
It said there were 37 letters of objection to the scheme.
Harry Groucott, the agent for the developers, said this was a development that would be a benefit for the local area.
He added the scheme had been amended to meet local concerns with the increase in parking provision and a reduction in density from 23 homes to 22.
Councillors were told the authority’s design and implementation team had worked with applicants Bacchus (Selsey Tram) Ltd, and the ‘1940s-style’ proposed by the architects was a response to encouragement to accord with local character.
Six councillors against five from the southern area development control committee voted to grant the scheme planning permission, subject to the completion of a formal legal agreement.
Agents for the applicants added there was an acute need for family housing in the district, and the scheme included eight affordable flats, as well as 14 family houses.