Selsey objectors outraged after appeal adjournment

Just some of the Selsey residents who turned up to an appeal hearing to object against 50 new homes in the town
Just some of the Selsey residents who turned up to an appeal hearing to object against 50 new homes in the town

OBJECTORS were outraged on Tuesday (December 18), when a planning appeal had to be adjourned because there was not enough space for them.

John Palmer, of Ursula Avenue said: “The sheer incompetence of the county council – they do not provide a big enough room, even after 150 letters of objection to this appeal, and they cannot provide a PA system – it is unbelievable.”

Victor Berry, another Selsey resident, described the hearing as a ‘shambles’.

Around 120 Selsey residents turned up to the hearing at County Hall.

Planning Inspectorate Lloyd Rodgers was expecting to discuss the appeal for 50 homes on the northern boundary of Selsey, towards Church Norton.

But he, Chichester District Council, and appellants were met by placards and angry residents who wanted to have their say about the appeal.

Richard Bramall, who lives at Church Norton, said: “It’s 50 houses this week, and next it will be 5,000. It is just the beginning.”

Glenda Baum, of West Street, Selsey, said: “It would change the character of the village. The infrastructure cannot take it.”

Mr Rodgers said: “I am conscious that this is a public meeting and the public have a right to hear and be heard.”

However, he explained the hearing could not go ahead because there were too many people wanting to speak, there was no PA system, and the hearing was likely to go on all day, inappropriate, as half of the public were standing.

He said it was likely the adjourned appeal would become an inquiry, and he would consider holding it in the Selsey Centre.

But many of the residents said the same thing could happen again, as the Selsey Centre can only host up to 150 people and, if the meeting was held in the town more people would be able to come along.

Janet Obermayer, a Selsey resident, said: “It is just appalling, they should have anticipated the amount of people that would turn up.”

Joan Taylor, of East Beach, said: “Coming from Selsey is costly, people came all the way here and there is no PA system.”

Some of the residents organised a mini-bus to bring them down to the meeting, so they could make their stand.

Now they may have to wait until April 2013, to make their views known.