Plans to demolish a Sidlesham glasshouse and build an ‘innovative’ eco home have been given the go-ahead.
The new two-storey building at the Windward Nursery site off Chalk Lane would be of a timber frame structure with glazed panels set beneath an undulating sedum and zinc roof.
Part of the glasshouse, which is due to be knocked down entirely, already has prior approval to be converted into a residential dwelling of a similar size to the new home proposed.
An application was approved unanimously by Chichester District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday (August 7).
Donna Johnson (Local Alliance, Sidlesham and Selsey North) said she sympathised with the parish council, which has objected, given the number of agricultural buildings being converted into homes in the area.
She acknowledged judging designs can be quite subjective, but added: “I think it’s a little bit too innovative. Whilst I recognise innovation is a good thing, anyone who knows that area would probably look at it twice and think it’s one step too far, but that’s obviously a subjective decision.”
She continued: “Do I welcome it? Probably not, but I think there’s no particular reason to object to it.”
Gordon McAra (Ind, Midhurst) was more complimentary of the design, saying it made a change from homes with red clay tiles, red bricks and flint.
Meanwhile Sarah Sharp (Green, Chichester South) praised the eco-element of the new home.
She said: “I welcome this application with all its sustainable elements. I think this is a really good application.”
Simon Oakley (Con, North Mundham and Tangmere) also raised the number of agricultural buildings being converted into homes in this part of the district, with no cumulative assessment of their impact taking place.
He said: “We are developing quite a large settlement down there by stealth.”
Officers described how the prior approval had not been implemented, with the glasshouse currently housing olive trees.
The design of the curved building has been informed by the existing glasshouse and was described as ‘innovating and interesting’.
The remainder of the site would be left as an orchard.