Planners reject 120 homes in Hambrook

The planning application was refused
The planning application was refused

A ‘MAJOR victory’ for the people of Hambrook has been declared after a large-scale housing development was rejected.

Plans to build 120 new homes on land east of Broad Road caused uproar amongst residents in the village and surrounding area.

So the decision by Chichester District Council’s planning officers to turn down Sunley Estates Ltd’s proposals last week has been welcomed far and wide.

Chidham and Hambrook Parish Council chairman Cliff Archer said: “The parish council is delighted that the application has been refused and we are assured that the whole parish feels the same way.

“We had two very well-attended public meetings, the second at the proposed site and the overwhelming feeling from both was that the application should be rejected.

“Everybody felt that it was a completely inappropriate application. It was way too large and on a greenfields site.

“If we are to have more housing we all feel it should be on brownfield sites and, even then we already have a number of applications for more than 100 homes either accepted or in the pipeline.

“The number of houses proposed is already well over the 25 to 50 we have allocated for our parish in the draft local plan so this is a major victory for our residents.”

The outline planning application was for 120 single and two-storey houses, 48 of which were allocated as affordable homes.

The plans also sought to build a new sports pavilion and community facility, along with tennis courts a football pitch, cricket nets and a children’s play area.

But among the number of reasons planners gave for refusing it was that it would be ‘harmful to the character, appearance and rural setting and approach to the village’.

The lack of key local services, such as enough places at the local primary school, enough health care and shopping facilities were also factors.

The lack of infrastructure needed to support such a major development was another reason for rejection, with West Sussex Highways Agency commenting that the developers had not ‘satisfactorily demonstrated that safe and suitable access to the site had been achieved’.

Adding to this, Mr Archer said: “It’s common knowledge that vehicles coming down the hill from the A27 road bridge in Hambrook reach extremely high speeds, therefore, access to the site from Broad Road, Cheesman Lane would be inherently dangerous.”

“We just don’t have the infrastructure, or the local facilities in the parish to cope with such a large development.”

Since 2011, the number of homes either built or approved in the parish is 164.

From 505 homes there are now 669 in the parish, an increase in size of 32 per cent.