Nine-bedroom home near Westbourne deferred again

A decision on plans for an ‘innovative’ nine-bedroom home near Westbourne has been deferred for a second time by councillors.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 3:55 pm

Permission is being sought for the new dwelling off Foxbury Lane and south of Common Road.

Chichester District Council’s planning committee deferred the application for a site visit at its meeting in June, but when it came back last week (Wednesday August 11) a decision was deferred again.

The proposed dwelling would be broadly in the centre of the site between two areas of woodland. It would have nine bedrooms set over two floors and an external appearance mixing flint and white render.

The new home would be served by an existing access on to Woodmancote Lane at the south-west corner of the site.

Westbourne Parish Council has objected, pointing out that the site is in an open countryside setting and outside the established settlement boundary.

Its submission went on to argue the development would be an ‘unacceptable intrusion’ into the attractive pattern of fields and woodland that surround the village of Westbourne and suggested the design was ‘neither truly outstanding nor innovative’.

Issues were also raised about flooding and safety of the road access.

In the application, the agents for the scheme described how the design team ‘submits that the development proposals exhibit the level of quality in both landscape and architectural design terms to be considered a house of exceptional quality and innovative nature of design’.

CDC planning officers noted how the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out exceptions for when an isolated home in the countryside would be acceptable.

This is when the design is of ‘exceptional quality’ in that it is truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture, would significantly help to raise the standards of design more generally in rural areas, would enhance its immediate setting and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the local area.

And CDC officers considered the proposal meets these requirements ‘being a design of exceptional quality, and therefore the principle of the proposal in this location would be acceptable’.