Development of 25 new homes in Birdham refused
Plans for 25 new Birdham homes have been turned down by Chichester District Council officers.
Developers SBEPI Ltd wanted permission for a field south of Church Lane to the east of the cricket ground.
The proposed development would have included some affordable housing and a central village green.
Birdham Parish Council strongly objected to the plans as the majority of the development site is within the Chichester Harbour Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
In its submission the parish council also argued the application was contrary to the neighbourhood plan’s vision, while the scheme’s design was ‘unbalanced’ as in order to try and hide the development from Church Lane all the proposed houses were squeezed against existing properties in Cherry Lane and Walwyn Close ‘whilst leaving a large portion of the site undeveloped but still urbanised’.
Concerns were also raised about extra traffic in Church Lane and Crooked Lane, increased risk of flooding, as well as a lack of sufficient infrastructure such as sewage capacity and school places.
The style of the proposed houses were described as ‘unimaginative’, while Church Lane ‘is a rural lane that should not become urbanised’.
Meanwhile 171 letters of objection from members of the public were received, raising many of the same issues.
Many raised the fact that a previous application for the site for 46 homes had been refused and highlighted how the site contributed to the character and historic core of Birdham village.
In their report, CDC planning officers wrote: “Whilst it is noted that the applicants have sought to reduce the number of units in an attempt to reduce the impact, it is considered that the proposals continue to represent erosion of the openness of the area and increased urbanisation due to the scale of the proposed housing and associated infrastructure and therefore represents harm to the character and setting of the village and AONB.”