VOTE: Should plans to build a home in a Chichester back garden be blocked?

A PLAN to build a new home in a Chichester back garden has run into strong opposition from city councillors, amid concern about the impact on nearby Grade II listed houses.

The city planning and conservation committee agreed to urge the district council to refuse planning consent for the scheme, put forward by Berkeley Homes (Southern) Ltd for land at the rear of 118 St Pancras.

An earlier scheme for three homes on the site was rejected by the district, and a subsequent appeal dismissed by a government inspector.

City mayor Tony French said he could not understand why Berkeley Homes were so keen to use this garden.

“I find this back garden development intrinsically wrong, and I shall vote against this,” he declared.

Cllr Barbara Rees said she was against back gardens being built on. “They should stay as gardens,” she added.

And Cllr Peter Budge said: “This is going into an area which is quite nice, and would make it look quite horrible.”

The committee was told the proposal was for a detached three-bedroom house of contemporary design. The plans also include the demolition of existing outbuildings and internal wall, as well as providing car parking for the property.

So far more than 60 letters of objection have been received over the development, from both those living in the listed properties and those around St Agnes Place.

Despite the number of properties being reduced from three to one, many objectors have said the footprint of the building would still be the same and that the plan was still an over development of the site.

The Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CCAAC) has not objected to the scheme. In its submission to Chichester District Council it said it welcomed the substitution of one house for the original three proposed last year.

The committee also said it welcomed the reduction in scale and height of the development.