More Westergate homes approved

Outline plans for a development of ten homes in Westergate have been approved by Arun District Council.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 10:20 am

The application for a patch of land in Hook Lane was given the nod by the development control committee, though some seemed to feel they had little choice.

In 2016, the committee refused plans for 14 homes on a neighbouring site, only for the decision to be overturned on appeal by planning inspectors.

A couple of years earlier, the same thing happened with an application for 79 homes between Hook Lane and nearby Westergate Street.

Richard Bower (Con, East Preston) said it was ‘regrettable’, adding: “Given our experience with Hook Lane and what the planning inspector’s decision was on both those previous applications, we have very little case – in fact no case – to refuse this application.”

The council received 16 letters of objection to the plans, as well as one from Aldingbourne Parish Council.

Concerns included road safety, a lack of infrastructure, the pressure on local services, flooding and the impact on the character of the lane.

The last point was highlighted during the meeting by resident Wendy Corney.

She said: “I feel that the recent new developments have changed the character of the lane forever and, with brownfield sites begging for development, should never have been earmarked for such a large quantity of new houses.”

The development will have two access points on to Hook Lane – one for eight of the houses and one for the other two – but the exact design and layout of the site will be decided later.

No affordable housing is included as there will be fewer than 11 homes.

A statement from the applicant, West Lavant-based charity Parents and Carers Support Organisation, told the meeting that the land had been a gift.

Once permission for development was given, it would be sold to pay for a purpose-built headquarters in either Chichester or central Bognor.