Fear of creating a ‘ghetto’ halts scheme for 100 homes

Selsey residents protesting at another appeal for a neighbouring site - which they lost
Selsey residents protesting at another appeal for a neighbouring site - which they lost

THE risk of ‘community segregation’ was the reason behind the refusal of a 100-home plan for Selsey.

The planning inspector, Martin Pike, revealed his decision on Pye Homes’ bid for the 100-home development on Friday (February 21).

He said the layout of the scheme – which set social housing apart from the rest – was unacceptable, but said ‘there is no objection in principle to the scale of development proposed’.

The site, on the land north-west of Park Road, neighbours another site which has permission for 
50 homes.

And although residents were concerned about the scale of the development, the layout was also a concern.

Ben Cooper of Selsey Town Council spoke at the appeal hearing on January 23, and referred to another development in Selsey where social housing was in one part of the site. He said the arrangement had caused ‘anti-social behaviour issues and crime and disorder’.

“The people in this room want to be sure that it is not going to happen again and we are not going to get 
this ghettoisation again,” he said.

“That is my concern, what has gone before.”

Mr Pike said in his report that the ‘strong physical separation’ of social and market homes ‘would fail to secure a mixed, inclusive community’.

He also said the number of four-bedroom houses in the plans would fail to provide for young families hoping to move to the area.

After the decision, a Chichester District Council spokeswoman said: “The dismissal of this appeal is very good news for Selsey. Affordable housing is desperately needed in our district.

“However, unless this is acceptable in terms of layout and design and with an appropriate mix and distribution of dwellings, then planning applications are likely to be rejected, including on appeal as in this case.

“It is important that these matters are properly addressed so that we are able 
to deliver sustainable and well-designed new communities.”

Despite winning the appeal, Chichester District Council has been ordered to pay costs to Pye Homes, because refusing the plans for the number of homes was ‘unreasonable’.