Warning after 100 homes at Shopwhyke are approved on appeal

The Shopwhyke Lakes site where 585 homes are being built. The bottom left (brown field) is where the 100 other homes will go
The Shopwhyke Lakes site where 585 homes are being built. The bottom left (brown field) is where the 100 other homes will go

Hugely controversial Government approval for 100 homes south of Shopwhyke Road shows Chichester District Council has ‘no control’ over the delivery of homes, a councillor has said.

The major application, just south of where 585 houses are already being built, received huge objection and went undecided by Chichester District Council (CDC) planners.

The 585 homes at Shopwhyke Lakes, the only one of four strategic housing sites where homes are being built

The 585 homes at Shopwhyke Lakes, the only one of four strategic housing sites where homes are being built

After an appeal from the developers and following a planning inquiry, a Government inspectorate granted approval on September 4.

It is outside of CDC’s Local Plan and cllr Simon Oakley told Tuesday’s meeting Chichester had also been told to up its annual housing numbers significantly.

He said: “Recently a planning inspectorate approved an appeal for the 100-house application at Shopwhyke.

“In the course of that decision he discounted quite a large amount of our housing land supply.

“A lot of the sites in that they are not coming forward due to land ownership and legal matters outside of the control of this council.

“Last Thursday the Government announced proposals to boost the housing supply numbers and indicated a figure of 609 houses needed per anum for the Chichester district.

“Given that I don’t recall us getting anywhere near 609 here, and that appeals are showing we have no control over delivery, does this represent a significant threat to the Local Plan and the central part being the council’s housing delivery from its strategic sites?”

CDC chief executive Diane Shepherd said: “We are well aware that we are not responsible for the delivery of those houses, it is in the hands of the developers, and 609 is a high figure compared to what’s being built previously, but all indications are that as the planning authority you do have to plan for that number, you do have to provide the sites in the Local Plan process and you are expected to make those sites deliverable with those developers, so I don’t see anything changing with that.

“They will be hard targets and we have to find more housing numbers than we’ve got at the moment, but it’s our responsibility as the housing authority to make sure that we as far as possible plan for those houses.”

The district council recently carried out a consultation ahead of its Local Plan review.

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