Emerging plans to build 1,300 homes and double the size of Tangmere were discussed by parish councillors and members of the public at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday.
The major development will include a range of new facilities such as a primary school, sports space, a retail ‘high street’, and strong landscaping around key parts of the historic village.
Speakers made clear that they expected the Neighbourhood Plan to be wholeheartedly respected as part of the ‘one village’ vision - which included maintaining the setting of the 1,000 year-old St Andrews Church and the war graves by not permitting any development in the field north of the Grade I listed site.
There was a suggestion that ten to 12 homes could be constructed in the north of the field south of Cheshire Crescent. This breaching of the field was said to be ‘vehemently opposed’ by the parish council.
Masterplanning consultant for the parish, Brendan O’Neill, told the meeting he thought the argument the homes were needed to overlook the field for security purposes was a weak one.
“If there was a real issue of having sight of that space, housing [in that area] would not be sufficient, if it was needed it would need to be on all three sides.”
Councillor Paul Spencer-Ellis said the housing was a ‘Trojan Horse’ to build more homes on the green space.
The council chairman Andrew Irwin who lives near the site declared an interest and removed himself from that part of the debate.
Some residents also expressed strong concerns about any attempt to create a ‘rat run’ by turning a residential road, Malcolm Road, into a through road.
However, they seemed reassured by an option that would avoid such a scenario – creating a pedestrianised ‘high street’ rather than a continuous road.
The plan to nearly double the village is the subject of a compulsory purchase order by Chichester District Council with the vision of creating a cohesive village out of the old and new halves.
Mr Irwin said the parish had wanted ‘east-west connectivity’ as a core feature but that did not mean it had to have two-way traffic ‘through the heart of the village’.
He also noted that there were allocated funds for new community and sports facilities – either as a new building elsewhere in the development, or as an extension to the existing village centre.
A new facility would be his preference, he said, possibly as a ‘bookend’ to the main street: “I don’t want to throw away a large new community facility that we have already got the [district] council to say is essential.”
He encouraged everyone who wanted to give feedback on the plan, particularly those who lived in areas that would be next to new housing, to attend a drop-in event by developer Countryside on Thursday, September 26.
Current drawings of the emerging masterplan will be available to view from 12pm to 8pm at the village hall.
There will also be an opportunity to view plans at the summer fair on September 21.
A masterplan is expected to be produced in November, with an outline planning application to follow in around February, the meeting heard.
Mike Bleakley, case officer for the development at Chichester District Council, gave assurances that the development would be 1,300 homes, ‘no more, no less’, after an increase to the 1,000 homes originally planned.
In the past, villagers have supported the enlargement of the village through the Neighbourhood Plan – a legal document that was formally approved by a local referendum – provided excellent community facilities including a new primary school were funded; the fields surrounding St Andrew’s Church and Saxon Meadow were preserved as green space with sports fields, allotments and a community orchard; and the points where the old village met the new were developed with extreme sensitivity.
 The editor of the Observer attended the meeting and spoke in a personal capacity. For that reason he asked for an independent editor to oversee the publication of this report.