Action to unlock stalled affordable housing in Birdham

Plans for 15 homes in Crooked Lane, Birdham
Plans for 15 homes in Crooked Lane, Birdham

Work to unlock a stalled scheme for 15 affordable homes in Birdham has been given the go-ahead.

Hyde Group has planning permission for, and owns land off, Crooked Lane, but the housing association has experienced problems securing the necessary rights for the access into the site.

It has made ‘significant’ offers to settle but these have not been accepted by parties with interests or rights over the land.

Hyde has now made a formal request to Chichester District Council to explore whether the access site would meet the statutory requirements for a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO).

CDC cabinet members approved a land referencing exercise today (Tuesday April 10), to be funded by Hyde, which could then lead to officers exploring the case for progressing a CPO for the access land.

Officers explained how there were 14 households on the waiting list from Birdham, with another 150 from the surrounding parishes.

Tony Dignum, leader of the council, said: “I think it’s a most important application. We are very short of affordable houses.”

Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for community services, added: “Without this piece of work we do not know where we are going to be so I think we should go ahead with this.”

Officers are authorised to spend up to £27,000, on the basis that it will be reimbursed by Hyde.