House plan is permitted for old fire station

FURNITURE is set to be moved into space formerly occupied by fire engines, following a decision by Chichester district councillors.

The southern area development control committee gave the go-ahead for the conversion of Bosham’s former fire station, in Critchfield Road, into a three-bedroom home.

The scheme was opposed by Bosham Parish Council, which said the site - owned by West Sussex County Council - was ideally situated for development as social and affordable housing.

“Bosham has a significant unsatisfied housing list, and little prospect of being able to satisfy this demand in the short term,” it added.

This golden opportunity to provide housing and ease the housing list should not be squandered.

But planning officers recommended approval, subject to planning conditions relating to landscaping, on-site parking, and no sub-division of the site.

The use of the site as a fire station had now ceased, and the county council was seeking to find an alternative use.

District officers informally advised the county, before planning consent was sought, that a single house appeared to be an appropriate form of development.

Bosham representative Cllr David Myers sympathised with the parish council’s call for affordable housing, but said he was informed that any development less than five units was not viable for this, even with a site of low market value.

The fire station was closed in 2011 after a lengthy public consultation.