Residents outraged after decision to demolish 'charming' historic Selsey home

Stone House, 82 West Street, Selsey. Google Street View
Stone House, 82 West Street, Selsey. Google Street View

Despite 19 letters of objection, an application to replace a much loved house in Selsey with five new dwellings was given the green light.

The application (18/01966/OUT) was for Stone House, at 82 West Street, Selsey, to be demolished and replaced with new houses to 'make a positive contribution to the village scape of Selsey'.

The application was passed on March 29 by Chichester District Council after support from Selsey Town Council due to there being 'no planning grounds for objection'.

Genesis Town Planning agent Kerry Simmons, acting on behalf of the unnamed applicant, in the planning, design and access statement, wrote: "The site is located within the defined settlement boundary of Selsey and is situated in a sustainable village location.

"It is considered that the proposed scheme presents a well-balanced, contemporary and spacious residential development designed to a high standard. The proposed dwellings would make a positive contribution to the village scape of Selsey whilst maintaining its character and setting."

Residents were not convinced, and have taken to social media to protest the decision.

This followed 19 objections from Selsey residents, which brought up flooding, coastal erosion, the loss of the long eared brown bat's habitat, parking, and querying the ridge heights and unsuitability of the proposed new buildings.

Janet King said: "It would be a complete catastrophe to take down that beautiful old house, and replace it with five modern dwellings.

"Where is all the parking going to be, if you have a minimum of two cars per household? This end of West Street is already a nightmare in the summer, and the road is very twisty and narrow. Extra cars will also make it very dangerous as the road is particularly narrow there, with a curved wall on the opposite side of the road."

Martin Humphreys agreed. He said: "This property is one of the few remaining landmark properties in Selsey, to replace it with five modern dwellings is irresponsible.

"An increase in the volume of traffic will make this road dangerous for residents and families who visit West Street beach in the summer [and] the house is a landmark property of historical significance to the character of Selsey."

Theresa and Zak Bulic also raised an objection in a letter to the district council. They wrote: "The lovely old character property that has been part of Selsey’s heritage for a long time. Stone House is a wonderful old property.

"It has been there for as long as I can remember, and I cannot believe that it is possible to just obliterate such a beautiful building. How many of Selsey’s historical buildings has been erased in this way? There were enough iconic structures lost through fire, without deliberately bulldozing them to the ground.

"There must be a contingency plan in place to prevent the wilful destruction of properties that may not be listed or protected, but are all the same a valuable part of the surrounding landscape."

Ian Ogden said the development proposes to 'destroy a beautiful building' in order to create an 'over development and cramped residential site'.

Similarly, Nancy Stroud wrote: "Stone House is a charming older property which is in keeping with the surroundings of listed cottages ,large houses and bungalows in a semi rural setting and object to its demolition. This development will add nothing to the area that is one of the few remaining charming roads of old Selsey."

West Sussex County Council offered no objection. Its senior planner said: "The traffic generated by the proposal will be light and it is unlikely that any road safety issues will arise as a direct result of the development. Therefore the highway authority continues to have no objection to the proposal subject to the conditions suggested in our previous response."

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