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Chichester traveller pitches refused

Plans for a total of 11 gypsy and traveller pitches in Sidlesham have been refused by Chichester District Council.


Two applications for land at and next to Melita Nursery, in Chalk Lane – one for seven pitches and one for four – were considered by members of the planning committee.


There are already four pitches on the nursery site, which were granted permission in 2005, and the council does not have the required five-year supply of land for travellers.


While officers recommended both plans be approved, most members did not agree.


Cllr Donna Johnson (Local Alliance, Sidlesham & Selsey North) felt Sidlesham had a ‘disproportionate’ number of traveller sites, given its small size, and raised concerns about the impact these two sites would have on the village.


She added: “I think this represents an inappropriate over development of what is a sensitive, very historic locality with a unique identity.”


It was a concern echoed by some of the 16 letters of objection received by the council.


Cllr Roy Briscoe (Con, Westbourne) felt the applications would create an ‘isolated village within a village’ and would do nothing to integrate gypsy and travellers within the local community.


Others pointed out that the site was too far from village facilities to be considered sustainable and raised concerns that Chalk Lane was too narrow to be able to cope with the increase in traffic.


The application for four pitches was refused by nine votes to two with two abstentions.


The application for seven pitches was refused unanimously.


By Karen Dunn, local democracy reporter

Posted in News.