Harbour Villages district councillor and leader of the Liberal Democrats, Adrian Moss, has welcomed Chichester District Council’s decision of refusing permission to build 35 houses on Bethwins Farm.
Chichester Liberal Democrats say they support the need for building truly affordable homes across the district, however bringing forward an application disguised as an “Entry Level Site”( ELSE) is totally inappropriate during the creation of a new Local Plan.
The Lib Dem group say this application was ‘always an attempt by the developer to persuade residents that they were offering local peoples a small scale sensitive development of affordable houses but was clearly not the case’.
They also say the site was ‘not appropriate for this type of development, the application was poorly designed, cramming too many houses onto a small site and failing to fit in with the Fishbourne community’.
Cllr Moss said: “This application did not meet the needs of the community and is not in line with the village’s aspirations as being developed by the Neighbourhood Plan review group. The application does not meet the criteria set down for Entry Level Sites. Four bedroom hoses do not constitute ‘affordable housing; in Fishbourne. Our need is for low cost small rented social housing, our need is for affordable houses for local people.
“What is also of concern is the proposal to install an on-site water treatment facility with no mitigation for noise or environmental factors. There is also considerable concern over any development work damaging the aquifers that provide water to the local community. This development would have damaged the village.”
Portsmouth Water stated that the proposed development is located in a very sensitive area with regards to groundwater protection and the local public water supply.
In their decision Chichester District Council said: “The proposal does not meet the requirements to be an ELSE and would therefore be contrary to Paragraph 71 of the National Planning Policy Framework (February 2019) and Policy 35 of the Chichester Local Plan: Key Policies 2014-2029.”