DILIGENT villagers have rallied to fight plans for 16 new homes as developers come back for ‘another bite at the planning cherry’.
Dozens of Westbourne residents have objected to proposals to build new homes on land north of Long Copse Lane.
The plans were deferred by Chichester District Council’s planning committee in September, which agreed to visit the site before making its decision.
Objector Jesse Grant, of Long Copse Lane, said: “If the council does let this go, the floodgates will open.
“We’ve had 160 objections – more than any other isite locally.
“We’ve just been ignored. Young kids have been fighting for this, old people have been fighting for this – it’s all generations.
“We’ve always known the sewers can’t cope. By their own admission, Southern Water can’t cope.”
Plans to build 22 homes on the same site were thrown out by a planning inspector in December last year.
But when they were submitted to the council, Southern Water said there was ‘inadequate capacity into the local network to provide foul sewage disposal to service the proposed development’.
“I was frankly astonished that at the planning meeting held recently at CDC, that the CDC planning officers had not provided to the district councillors a report issued by Southern Water describing the inadequacies of the drainage system operating in the Thornham area,” said Sandra James, West Sussex county councillor.
“Southern Water have openly stated there are hydraulic load issues.
“This is just one indication of the infrastructure problems faced by Westbourne.”
Amanda Stringer, who campaigned at the site, said: “It’s not local need, it’s developers’ greed.”
Southern Water said it had a ‘legal obligation’ to connect new properties to the public system. “In response to the planning application for 16 homes in Long Copse Lane we requested that, should the development be granted planning consent, surveys are carried out to determine the most appropriate connection point into the public sewerage system,” said a spokesman.