New 50-home development at Highgrove Farm in Bosham approved

Fifty homes are to be built in Bosham despite objections from the parish council over the loss of agricultural land '“ and concerns about flooding.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 4:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:39 am
Layout of proposed development at Highgrove Farm, Bosham

An application for land north of Highgrove Farm was considered and approved by Chichester District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (December 19).

The development, off of the A259, will be a mixture of one, two, three and four-bedroom houses and maisonettes, with 15  of them – 30 per cent – being classed as affordable.

Opposing the plan, the parish council said Highgrove was the ‘site least favoured by the residents of Bosham’, with development preferred at a number of ‘derelict’ spots throughout the village.

The parish was also unhappy that Grade 1 and 2 agricultural land would be destroyed and the ‘adverse impact’ of the homes on the Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As well as objections from the parish, more than 100 other letters of objection were received, with concerns including flooding, the extra traffic adding to the congestion along the A259, the pressure on local schools and GPs, and fears that a larger development was being planned.

The planning committee discussed the application at length, listening to several objections.

Charlotte Pexton, chairman of the parish council’s neighbourhood planning committee, told members that while the parish thought the methodology used to select the site for development was ‘flawed’, they did accept that it would go ahead.

But Ms Pexton raised concerns about how Southern Water would dispose of foul water from the site saying they had ‘still not advised how they intend to deal with this matter adequately’.

Some committee members also had concerns about the sewer network.

A comment from Southern Water in the planning report stated that the impact of the new homes on the network presented ‘an increased risk of flooding unless network reinforcement is undertaken’.

But on the day of the meeting, members were told that Southern Water had sent a letter stating that ‘the additional foul sewerage flows from the proposed development will not increase the risk of flooding in the existing public sewerage network’.

Richard Plowman (Lib Dem, Chichester West) suggested the application be deferred and that Southern Water should be invited to the next meeting to explain the situation and give reassurance.

The suggestion was voted down and, with officers advising that members should accept what they had been told, the application was approved by eight votes to four.