Developers are mounting a major challenge to Chichester District Council’s (CDC) Local Plan with a proposal for 100 homes on a greenfield land site next to Shopwhyke Lakes.
The outline application has been submitted by Welbeck Strategic Land II LLP and the landowners DC Heaver and Eurequity IC Ltd, who want to build on a 6.2 hectare site on the corner of Oving Road and the A27.
Currently in agricultural use, the site is not allocated for development in the Local Plan or the council’s emerging site allocations development plan document (DPD).
But they claim there are no policy constraints and it should be seen as a ‘significant planning benefit’.
The site is immediately north of the Shopwhyke Lakes site which already has outline permission for 500 houses and in April CDC gave another outline permission for a further 85, subject to agreement on developers’ contributions.
In their report to the April meeting, officers said Shopwhyke was one of three strategic development sites on the edge of Chichester earmarked for major development. But they admitted the council was vulnerable to challenges as the DPD has not yet been set in stone.
“The site is the council’s preferred site under the site allocation DPD for delivering 86 dwellings as part of the additional 235 dwellings required under Local Plan. The DPD although at an early stage and carrying little weight shows a clear direction of travel.”
There was a ‘clear strategic incentive’ to put a large new housing development on Shopwhyke, building on previously developed brownfield land with extant permission for housing development, ‘thus avoiding the need to find new greenfield sites on the edge of the city’.
But developers argue there is no policy restricting the housing numbers set in the adopted Local Plan and restrictions on these grounds would go against national planning policy. The council should take advantage of the opportunity provided ‘to contribute to a more robust five year housing land supply.’
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