A man who ‘cannot access his drive without doing a five-point turn’ after gates were installed across the entrance to his street told councillors of his frustration last week.
Neil Stanley, of Hall Hurst Close, Loxwood, objected to a retrospective planning application by the estate’s residents’ association for the access gates, installed to ‘provide a safer environment’ for residents.
Mr Stanley told Chichester District Council’s planning committee the gates had severely restricted access to a number of properties.
He claimed they had been installed without consultation with several households - an allegation disputed by supporters of the plans.
“Entering the gates, I can’t actually access my driveway without doing a five point turn,” he said.
“They are so close that there isn’t sufficient turning circle to get into my drive.”
“I just can’t see how anyone can install gates without consultation and to restrict the access to someone’s driveway.”
Council planners had recommended permitting the application, noting the dispute was a private matter.
Tony Whitty, head of planning services, said the only aspects the committee could consider were visual and highways impact.
He advised that if the gates were slightly lower, they could have been installed without planning permission.
A total of 13 letters of support from eight residents argued the gates would make the close a ‘safer, more pleasant place to live’, ‘control vehicle speeds’ and were not objected to by police, highways officers or residents when consulted.
But 19 letters of objection countered the suggestion, suggesting they were ‘unnecessary and dangerous’ and had caused damage to vehicles.
Councillors rebelled against the recommendation to permit, rejecting the plans by seven votes to four.
The committee was concerned by the impact of the gates on residents’ amenity, while chairman Bob Hayes said the gates were ‘not disabled friendly in any way, shape or form’.
Councillor Myles Cullen said: “It is very sad that it should come to this that there are residents who do feel that they have been hindered in their normal facilities because of the installation of these gates and the way it has been done.”
A representative of the residents’ association has been contacted for comment.