A VACANT piece of land in Chichester is set to receive 21 new homes.
The derelict area in Warrendale is next to Centurion Way, off Plainwood Close, and would see a mixtures of flats and two, three and four-bed houses.
The decision made at the district council planning meeting on Wednesday saw councillors debate the inclusion of a link between the homes and a popular footpath.
Chichester City Council rejected the original plans,, asking for the provision of a combined pedestrian and cycleway from the site to Centurion Way to be included.
At Wednesday’s committee meeting, objector Mr Barry Aldridge said: “I have lived in Plainwood Close, adjacent to Warrendale for the last 34 years. The site is in a settlement policy area and owned by a developer so we knew that development of the site was inevitable sooner or later and I will continue to support the development.
“In the 1990s, after the last gravel train had rumbled past and the track converted to Centurion Way, we were burgled twice and knew of at least five other burglaries close by.
“Centurion Way was an obvious escape route. Supported by the community police officer at the time, we encouraged the developer to erect large, wooden gates which still stand and we obtained planning approval for them.”
Cllr Richard Plowman said: “I think there are a number of issues here. We need to make sure the access is used by pedestrians and cyclists and the difficulty we may have is if this becomes a very popular access into Centurion Way, cars would park in Plainwood Close.”
Cllr Jane Kilby said: “We all knew these links were essential for this to go ahead. I am really pleased to see that this being achieved on the development.
“I also disagree with Cllr Plowman on car parking. I think those using Centurion Way as cyclists will be using the whole cycling network.”
Speaking after the meeting, Sarah Sharp on behalf of ChiCycle said: “The decision today leaves me concerned on two points. Firstly the timing of the walking and cycling link.
“It is essential that this link is delivered right at the beginning of the development so that all the new residents can benefit from this easy way to get into the city. It would be a huge disappointment if the link was not delivered at this early stage.
“Secondly, the link needs to be direct. From today’s meeting, it seemed that the developer could prevent the link being a few metres long and require people to go into the new development and then out again onto Plainwood Close.”