Eight new homes in village on former gypsy caravan site

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A PIECE of land in Washington, currently home to disused caravans, will be used to build eight houses.

Permission was granted on Tuesday for three semi-detached pairs and two detached houses each with their own garage to be built at Lamorna, Old London Road, west of the A24.

The unoccupied bungalow, currently on site will be demolished along with two mobile homes and a caravan to make way for the development supported by local members Cllrs Ray Dawe and Chris Mason (both Con, Chantry).

At the HDC development control south committee Mr Dawe said: “This is by far the best use of this land and it’s going to people who are local.”

He highlighted that the use of the land for gypsy caravans was unauthorised and because of the length of time it had been used in this way, the council were unable to take enforcement action.

Therefore approving the application could be of environmental and visual benefit to the area.

Following earlier discussions about the council having to make provision for travellers across the district, Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead) asked if this could be one of the council’s authorised sites.

He said: “This site seems to be unique in that residents have not noticed groups of travellers there. It might be perfect for what we want.”

But Cabinet member for strategic planning David Jenkins (Con, Chanctonbury) said Lamorna had been considered as a potential traveller site and was deemed inappropriate.

Members voted for the development to go ahead subject to a legal agreement being carried out to ensure the ownership of five of the properties will go to “qualifying local residents”.

The legal agreement will also secure financial contributions towards community facilities and transport infrastructure.