Fishbourne is a ‘special place we are all proud of’ according to a district councillor as changes to planning guidelines for the village were approved.
Chichester District Council cabinet members agreed to revisions of a character appraisal and management proposals for the Fishbourne Conservation Area when they met today (Tuesday May 1).
The original document, published in 2007, aims to protect the character of the conservation area and give greater confidence in decision making.
The main change will see the conservation area boundary extended westwards along Main Road.
Meanwhile permitted development rights are set to be removed for the installation of solar panels and minor alterations to the principal elevations of homes.
Adrian Moss, Lib Dem councillor for Fishbourne, said: “Fishbourne is a special place and I think we are all proud of it.”
He described the character appraisal as a ‘fantastic document’ added: “I think people will realise having read the report there are some hidden gems in Fishbourne that do not get seen by many people.”
Although he agreed with the restrictions on solar panels, Mr Moss asked if the council could be sympathetic to people who apply for renewables even in the conservation area.
On a similar issue outside the scope of character appraisals he called on the council to work with owners of historic buildings to ensure they do not fall into disrepair.
He explained: “It does not address the fact that some really important older houses can be allowed to go down without being looked after and we are not addressing that.”
He continued: “I think it’s important we protect some of those older properties and make sure they are maintained to the right level.”
In particular he raised the case of the Old Thatched House in Mill Lane which had ‘fallen into disrepair’ over recent years.
Officers explained the document was supportive of the need for owners to look after their homes as these properties were important to the character of the conservation area.
After the meeting a spokesman for the council said: “The council has received a complaint about the condition of the Old Thatched House, Mill Lane, Fishbourne and our enforcement team is currently investigating the situation.
“We are working with the owner of the building to try to resolve the situation.”
Susan Taylor, cabinet member for planning services, described how the document would maintain and sustain the identity and distinctiveness of the area when planning applications were determined.
Peter Wilding, cabinet member for corporate services, suggested the document would be a good basis to promote tourism in Fishbourne.