Plans unveiled for 100 new houses on South Downs village woodland

Plans are being put forward to build up to 100 new houses on woodland on the outskirts of a South Downs village.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 11:57 am

Latimer, the development arm of Clarion Housing Group, are proposing to build the houses at Longbury Hill off Rock Road, Storrington.

The land is currently a privately-owned commercial Scots Pine plantation which has been partially cleared with a licence from the Forestry Commission.

A Latimer spokesman said: “The development will provide much-needed homes for local families, of which at least 35 per cent will be for affordable tenures. “The site will feature accessible green space and a publicly accessible community woodland.

Woodland where it is proposed to build up to 100 houses

“The development will actively encourage sustainable travel and ensure that local biodiversity is enhanced.”

However, local residents raised concerns in 2018 after 5,500 trees were felled on the site, also known as Heath Common. Residents expressed fears that the land would end up being developed.

But Latimer says that the land has no public access at the moment but, if the development goes ahead, it would provide ‘accessible green space and a publicly accessible community woodland.’

Latimer’s proposals, it says, would see the woodland ‘sensitively developed to provide new homes and open it up for the community to enjoy the new public open spaces.’

Clarion Housing Group development director Richard Cook said: “We’re excited to be working with local people to develop our plans for Heath Common, which present an opportunity to create unique homes situated in the midst of nature, bringing a new level of health and community well-being.

“We wish to create a high-quality environment, with accessible and communal spaces and places that will benefit the whole community and bring people together with the existing natural setting.

“Key to this development will be new sustainable travel options to link it with Storrington Village and other local amenities.”

Latimer maintains there is a strong case for bringing forward additional land to meet housing needs in larger villages such as Storrington.

It says analysis of the housing needs in Storrington, Sullington, Washington, Amberley and Parham shows a local need for between 1,400 – 1,700 houses to 2037.

It says thereis also a short-term need from 173 households in the Storrington area requiring affordable housing now.

It says: “Our site at Heath Common could provide up to 100 new homes of which 35 per cent would be affordable, in line with district council policies.

“The delivery of additional housing will also help support local services, through additional expenditure in the local area as well as making apositive contribution to the vibrancy of the local economy.”

The company is now seeking feedback from the public over its proposals.

It is to stage two live webinars on June 23 between 6pm – 7pm and July 1 between 6pm – 7pm where people can hear about the proposals and ask questions.

See http://www.clarionconsults.co.uk

The consultation is open from now until July 4.