Detail of first Whitehouse Farm homes approved

Layout of first 73 homes approved at Whitehouse Farm
Layout of first 73 homes approved at Whitehouse Farm

Plans for 73 new homes in Chichester, have finally been given the go-ahead.

The homes will be built west of Centurion Way and make up part of a 750-home development which was given outline planning permission last year.

A second phase is scheduled to follow and, when complete, they will see a total of 1,600 homes built at Whitehouse Farm, along with employment, community, education and leisure facilities.

A briefing was held in public on Monday where the developers behind the scheme answered questions.

The plan hit a bump in September when members of the planning committee deferred a reserved matters application for the 73 homes, saying developer Miller Homes had not done enough to address environmental and highways concerns.

The developer returned to East Pallant House on Wednesday (October 2) with an updated plan, which was given the nod.

The council declared a climate emergency earlier this summer, pledging to be carbon neutral by 2030, and the application includes in-roof solar panels on 24 of the houses, low water usage baths, and dual-flush toilets.

The meeting was told that this would reduce the amount of water used from an average of 160 litres per person per day to 105 litres per person per day, which is five litres better than laid out in planning policy.

Also included in the application was the planting of more trees – 17.6 per house in the first phase of development – bird boxes and bat boxes.

There were a number of suggestions from members and, while they were advised that they could not ‘redesign’ the scheme or create a ‘wish list’, it was agreed that hedgehog routes through the site could be added, as requested by Sarah Sharp (Green, Chichester South).

There had been concerns about a lack of pavements along part of the main central road, which the developer has since added to the design.

Rob Collett, of Miller Homes, said the developer had worked hard to address the concerns raised and told the meeting they always looked for suppliers who provided responsibly sourced materials such as windows made of recycled materials.

It had been suggested that the entire application should be looked at again to ensure the new homes were built in line with the council’s climate change pledge, but members accepted that the developers had more than matched all the planning policies as they currently stand.

Roy Briscoe (Con, Westbourne) said: “We do have aspirations but until the new policies come in we have to live with what we’ve got. The developers have shown that they have gone above what we require.”