Hunston residents unite against housing increase proposal with neighbourhood plan

A total of 120 residents attended a Hunston Parish Council meeting last Wednesday (November 28). Picture contributed
A total of 120 residents attended a Hunston Parish Council meeting last Wednesday (November 28). Picture contributed

A total of 120 residents attended a Hunston Parish Council meeting on Wednesday (November 28) to oppose plans to increase housing in the village by 35 per cent.

Chichester District Council's housing allocation proposal has angered residents, as according to the parish council, it was only informed at the '11th hour'.

Hunston villagers 'overwhelmingly' decided to come together to create a Neighbourhood Plan for the future of the village. Picture contributed

Hunston villagers 'overwhelmingly' decided to come together to create a Neighbourhood Plan for the future of the village. Picture contributed

Back in July 2015, CDC adopted a planning framework for the period 2014-2029, excluding the area covered by the South Downs National Park Authority. The strategy allocated new housing and employment sites. Read more on this here.

At the Hunston Parish Council meeting, chairman Joan Foster said the goal posts have 'constantly changed'.

She added: "We have met with CDC several times over the past few months to discuss future housing development. We understand new housing is required, however the goal posts have constantly changed and detailed plans given to CDC by developers as far back as July 2018 were only received by the Parish Council at the 11th hour.

"[It is only] the beginning of a coordinated, constructive fight by Hunston to have its voice heard and to determine its own future with regards to housing and development."

The parish council said residents were given choices on how to proceed at the meeting. They could object and protest or pull together and use the Neighbourhood Plan process to try to maintain Hunston as a 'much loved, close, rural community'.

A Hunston Parish Council spokesman said: "Whilst feelings ran high among residents, Hunston villagers overwhelmingly decided to come together to create a Neighbourhood Plan for the future of the village.

"County councillor Jamie Fitzjohn and district councillor Tricia Tull were present at the meeting to show their support for Hunston villagers to have their say in how the village develops and transforms in the coming years."

According to the spokesman, Mr Fitzjohn said he was 'incredibly proud and impressed' by the residents of Hunston, and gave them his 'absolute backing'.

He added: "They were clearly angered by their treatment thus far by CDC. However, they have decided to pull together to channel that anger into something constructive and positive for Hunston.

"They have my absolute backing and support on this matter. Residents already cope with living on the fourth busiest B road in the country and being expected to cope with a possibility of up to 500 more cars on the road as a result of development within their village is not acceptable.

"It’s certainly not acceptable when the infrastructure is not there to support such development.”

See also: Chichester Local Plan review: more new houses in plan up to 2035

Chichester Local Plan will ignore the will of the people

‘Minor improvements’ to Chichester A27 in local plan separate to bid for long-term strategic solution