Major housing plan for Earnley back on the table

AN official appeal has been lodged against the district council’s decision to reject a bid for 110 homes.

At the start of April Chichester District Council’s planning committee turned down an application for the homes on land east of Barton Way and south of Clappers Lane in Earnley.

That was despite some councillors warning that turning down the application was both ‘immature and irresponsible’.

On Thursday, the district council confirmed the developer, Wates Developments, had lodged an official appeal to government planners.

On April 2, Chichester District Council’s Planning Committee went against officers’ recommendations and refused permission for the development.

Councillors discussed their concerns about what they called an ‘unsustainable site’ and the affect on the highways.

But chairman Andrew Smith and planning officer Andrew Frost warned that these would not be reasons which would stand up at appeal.

Cllr Smith told the meeting: “I think if the council votes to refuse on the grounds suggested it would be a fairly immature and irresponsible.

“It puts the council at a grave risk of having to award substantial costs.”

Mr Frost said: “Objections on highway capacity or sustainability will not hold up. The risk is that this can, and probably will be, found to be unreasonable and there could be a demand for costs for going to appeal.”

Cllr Philippa Hardwick warned that an appeal would be ‘incredibly expensive to the residents of this district’.