‘Island’ of development east of Chichester denied planning permission

Plans for 165 homes between Chichester and Westhampnett have been refused planning permission by the district council.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 10:28 am

The parcel of land is north of Madgwick Lane, with the River Lavant on its western boundary.

The site is nearby other approved developments with housebuilding already taking place on the other side of Madgwick Lane by Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes.

Permission has also been granted for new homes to the north-west on a parcel of land east of the Graylingwell site as well as another site containing green infrastructure including playing fields.

The application site is in red, with other developments in yellow and purple. Green is the green infrastructure land
The application site is in red, with other developments in yellow and purple. Green is the green infrastructure land

But in this case, council planning officers refused outline permission for the 165 homes, arguing that the site was an ‘isolated pocket of land’, physically divorced from both Chichester and Westhampnett, while the development would be out of character in this open area of the Lavant valley landscape.

Both Westhampnett and Lavant parish councils objected, arguing that the parcel of land was not in either the 2014 Chichester local plan or the ongoing review.

Westhampnett PC felt the ‘island’ site would neither integrate into the eastern built area of Chichester nor with its parish as it would not be contained between existing development.

They said: “The northern and eastern boundaries are arbitrary, not naturally defined and open to interpretation. Therefore, there is a risk of further expansion and development.”

A total of 94 objections were received from residents raising overdevelopment, effect on wildlife, flooding, road safety, harm to the character and setting of Chichester,the impact on Goodwood, sewage and lack of infrastructure to cope with the extra homes.

In their report, council planning officers said: “The site does not currently adjoin the settlement boundary for Chichester or Westhampnett. Physically/spatially it has a closer association with Westhampnett village than Chichester city from which it is completely divorced.”

But they went on to say that while the redrawing of the settlement boundary to encompass the Madgwick Park development, the eastern boundary of the site would be technically adjacent to that boundary being on the other side of Madgwick Lane, that relationship as revealed on the illustrative site plan is ‘tenuous’.

The council’s landscape consultant described the harm which the proposed development would lead to as it would result in the creation of an ‘island’ of development ‘very much detached’ from either Westhampnett village as extended or the from neighbouring residential areas in Chichester.

Given the development already approved and being built in this area, officers concluded: “It is not considered appropriate to further develop this area, given that there are other more sustainable and less constrained locations around the city.”