More homes put into Chichester development blueprint

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‘SURPRISE and disappointment’ greeted news Chichester District Council is allocating more homes for East Wittering and Bracklesham.

The move is a last-ditch bid by the council to get its local plan, which acts as a development blueprint, approved by a government inspector who questioned the council’s housing figure of 410 new homes per year in the Chichester district from now until 2029.

As well as 80 homes for East Wittering and Bracklesham, the council also lined up 250 extra homes in the local plan period at Whitehouse Farm, west of Chichester, plus it hopes to raise the number of homes for city or adjoining areas by 85.

Peter Bates, of Garden Avenue, Bracklesham, moved to the area ten years ago and said in that time the road to the villages had worsened.

“It needs to be a local plan for the Manhood Peninsula really,” he said.

Residents were upset at the increase in figures, but also at a lot of the building that’s already taking place.

“I think when these developments go ahead people are upset about the proposed development and trying to fight against it, but not realising the impact of the building,” he added. “We’re looking at 14 months of noise and disruption.”

Kay Rivers, of nearby Beech Avenue, has had 50 homes put up next to her house in the past year.

“There’s been no consideration for the residents. I’ve been blocked in several times in my own drive,” she said, adding the area was frequently covered in dust from the build.

She questioned the justification of building the homes.

“There’s no evidence of any businesses wanting to move down here,” she said, adding: “There’s no jobs, there’s no secondary schools. You can’t get an appointment at the doctors for love nor money.”

The changes see the housing target brought up to 435 homes per year, with the council saying the overall housing target would increase by 415, from 6,973.

Currently, East Wittering and Bracklesham are earmarked for 100 homes in the plan, however this number looks set to rise.

Developers are pushing for even more, describing the area as ‘just flat landscape’.

According to the council’s evidence audit, it found there was land available that ‘may be acceptable in landscape terms and is not in flood zone one or two’.

The council said the settlement hub had ‘a range of facilities that make it an appropriate location for development, with the exception of a secondary school and any significant employment provision’.

Robert Carey, from Earnley Parish Council, is part of a consortium of all the parishes on the Manhood Peninsula that has fought a planning inquiry as a developer looks to build 160 homes on land off Clappers Lane, in Bracklesham.

“The consortium were surprised and disappointed and requested a meeting with CDC as soon as possible,” he said.

A cabinet meeting takes place tomorrow (November 24), followed by a full council meeting to approve the evidence audit prepared for the ongoing local plan inquiry.

Some councillors believe the local plan has been ‘shredded’ by developers, who are putting pressure on government inspector Sue Turner to allocate even more houses to the district.