New Graylingwell plan set for a green light

A THUMBS-UP for the latest stage of Graylingwell looks likely after the banking crisis led to a revision of its masterplan.

Chichester District Council officers said the new look for Graylingwell was ‘more realistic’ than previously, as it adapted to changes in the national housing market.

“Clearly the 2009 housing mix corresponded to the accommodation needs as they were at that time. Six years on these housing needs are now different with the demand greater for family houses than flats,” said a report to be considered by the council’s planning committee on Wednesday.

The new masterplan contains a drop in the overall number of properties from 793 to 785.

Previously, more than half the homes were flats, however the latest split is 58 per cent houses and 42 per cent apartments.

The report added: “By revisiting the 2009 planning approval in order to better reflect current identified housing, community and employment needs officers consider that the result is a development which is now better conceived, more realistic and ultimately more deliverable.”

Planning officers said the successful redevelopment of Graylingwell remained important to the council in reaching government housing targets.

The changes to the masterplan have come out of ‘lengthy negotiations’ between developer Linden Homes and officers of the council.

According to officers: “It has proved challenging to integrate the revised housing mix in the space available whilst protecting those assets which are important to the conservation area and to Graylingwell’s unique character and appearance and certain compromises have had to be made.”

It said an ‘acceptable balance’ appeared to have been reached with the latest instalment.

A point of concern for some residents was the removal of a community hall from next to the Immanuel Chapel.

However, the council said this space had not been ‘lost’ to the community as the space would be made up elsewhere throughout the site.

Council officers emphasised the ‘fundamental principles’ of the Graylingwell development that were established in the 2009 planning application were not changed by this new application, adding the site was already delivering ‘much-needed new housing in Chichester’.

“This application is not therefore starting from a blank piece of paper and the revised masterplan does not seek to unpick much of what has previously been permitted.”

Although the new scheme provides eight less dwellings than before, it still provides 40 per cent affordable homes. Officers recommend deferring the application until a legal agreement is put in place before permitting it.