Special meeting to discuss Fishbourne housing bid

A BID for new housing could see changes to a ‘very dangerous’ road.

An outline application for 25 homes on a field east of Follis Gardens, Fishbourne, has been submitted to Chichester District Council.

The scheme includes changes to the site’s junction with Clay Lane, including increased visibility splays and a pavement for pedestrians.

Originally, the developer also planned to extend the 30mph limit east so the whole site would be outside of the national speed limit section of the road.

However, following consultation with West Sussex County Council, it was decided to leave the restrictions where they are.

Fishbourne Parish Council chairman Geoff Hand said any measures to make the road safer, something residents and the council have wanted for years, would be welcome.

“One of the main concerns about Clay Lane is that is windy and bendy and the speed limit coming into Fishbourne is much too fast,” he said.

However, he said Fishbourne Parish Council would reserve judgement on the overall application until after a special meeting later this month.

The extra meeting of the council on Tuesday, August 20, will see members debate the 25-home application and the emerging neighbourhood plan.

Under the current draft local plan, Fishbourne must accommodate 50 new homes by 2029.

However, Mr Hand said he could sympathise with those who do not want to see any more development.

“There are people in village who say ‘We don’t want any more housing at all’ and you can understand because we have increased by 20 per cent in the last ten years and we haven’t got a lot of space left,” he said.

“Because of the rapid expansion we have had in the last 20 years or so the infrastructure hasn’t kept up so we are now making it our policy that we won’t support anything unless the infrastructure is there.”

He said some concerns – particularly about sewage and drainage – did appear to be addressed in the plans.

The application, number 13/02278/OUT, includes four three-bedroom houses, 17 two-bedroom houses and four one-bedroom flats.

Forty per cent of the housing will be affordable.

A design and access statement, submitted with the application, said the houses had been designed to ‘reflect a rural and local vernacular’.

The extra meeting of the parish council will be held at the Fishbourne Centre, in Blackboy Lane, Fishbourne, on Tuesday, August 20, from 7.30pm.