Survey reveals village opinion on housing

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A survey taken by hundreds of Thakeham residents indicated that the majority want to avoid suburban sprawling into other parishes.

As part of its Neighbourhood Plan, Thakeham parish council sent out a survey to 706 households and received 227 responses by May 31 this year.

After a plan for 146 houses was approved to be built at the hamlet of Abingworth, and eight houses at Venters, Storrington Road - approximately half of residents responding (51 per cent) indicated that they felt Thakeham did not require any more open market housing, 21 per cent felt that there should be infill only, and 13 per cent felt there should be two to three infill sites with up to three houses within the settlement boundary.

A significant majority of participants in the survey (96 per cent) agreed that new developments should maintain the character of the village and use local building materials where possible. Also, 90 per cent of residents said that gaps between Thakeham and neighbouring parishes should be maintained to avoid the settlements being joined up. Neighbourhood plans are part of a government initiative that will allow residents to have their say as to where they would like to see housing developments in their area.

In reference to the survey, the parish council website states that the survey will form an important part of developing Thakeham’s Neighbourhood Plan, giving every single resident the opportunity to air their views as to how they want, and don’t want, Thakeham to evolve over the next 15 years.

Most (62 per cent) were concerned that the sub-division of agricultural land into small plots adversely affects the landscape character. The majority of residents also stipulated that the village would benefit from a shop (75 per cent) and shuttle bus to Storrington (71 per cent). With 99.1 per cent of residents in the survey driving cars and 65.2 per cent walking, there was an outcry for better footpath and bridleway links to adjoining parishes.