DEVELOPMENT plans for Lower Graylingwell have been approved by councillors.
Outline planning permission was granted previously – as reported in the Chichester Post, for development of up to 160 homes.
At the planning meeting on Wednesday, committee members were divided over the layout and appearance of the plans, with members of the nearby Penny Acre site objecting to the proposals.
North ward councillor Peter Evans said: “I am speaking on behalf of the city council. We reviewed this application at our meeting on December 13.
“The result was a unanimous vote to lodge strong objection to the proposals of this application. Our objection is that the outlined plan is not well worked out and if it goes ahead it will be to the detriment of both the existing residents of Graylingwell and the future occupiers of those proposed dwellings.”
Mr Nick Parkinson, design director of Hill, the applicant, said: “I’d like to emphasise that we are fully committed to this project and to ensuring that it achieves a high quality and sustainable community.
“We also want to make sure this is achieved under an accelerated construction programme to ensure the early release of much-needed homes.”
The proposed accommodation comprises one and two bedroom flats and two, three and four bedroom houses. There is 30 per cent affordable housing compromising 34 units for affordable rent and 14 shared ownership units.
Councillors were concerned over changes in the plans from the last meeting and raised three main concerns – the re-forming of the buildings along the western side, by the university, the design with three different shades of brick and the palette of the wood cladding and lastly the site of the flats, primarily around Penny Acre.
Residents from Penny Acre were concerned that three-storey flats would cause overlooking, loss of amenity, loss of light and have a harmful visual impact with only deciduous trees as a barrier.
Cabinet member for housing services, Cllr Jane Kilby, agreed with residents. She said: “My concerns here are mostly the sighting of the flats. One block of flats is sitting in total isolation to the southern area of the cricket pitch. I personally feel there could be a better integration on the layout.
“I have concerns also for the balconies on the blocks of flats. I need to be reassured there is going to be no overlooking.”
Speaking after the meeting, resident Carol Findlay said: “As residents of Penny Acre, we don’t feel that we were stood up for. We feel very let down.
“We are going to be confronted by absolute blocks. When the leaves on the trees go we are going to have the bin stores and the car parks there.
“We are in total anger. In particular, that flat block four on the plans is enormous and it’s just going to block our view.
“We bought in to this development with a plan we felt comfortable with.”