Plans for 140 homes in gap between Chichester and Lavant refused

Plans for 140 new homes in the gap between Chichester and Lavant have been refused.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 11:20 am

The Berkeley Group wanted outline planning permissions for land just off Lavant Road opposite the junction with Hunters Race south of Raughmere Drive.

Although within the Lavant parish, the site is directly adjacent to the northern boundary of Chichester city, while the northern edge adjoins the South Downs National Park.

The submitted land use plan showed that development would be concentrated in the southern half of the site, while the northern part would be left undeveloped to create a country park with outdoor event space.

Proposed development site for 140 homes between Chichester and Lavant

A previous application for 92 homes was refused by CDC in 2012 and dismissed at appeal.

Council planning officers resolved to refuse the application concluding the adverse impacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.

Their report said: “The proposed development would lead to the loss of a large area of rural land which functions as the settlement gap between Chichester and Mid Lavant and, as such would result in both physical and perceived coalescence of the two settlements.

“Furthermore, the replacement of this rural landscape with housing development with its associated infrastructure, lighting and engineered vehicular access off Lavant Road would lead to a harmful urbanisation of the local rural environment and the setting of the South Downs National Park.”

They also concluded the application had failed to demonstrate the proposals would not result in an unacceptable living environment for future occupiers by reason of noise impacts including activities from the Goodwood Aerodrome and Motor Circuit.

In its representation Lavant Parish Council argued the site is unsustainable and its development ‘is the antithesis to every single policy as it is located outside the settlement area of both Chichester and Lavant’.

The parish council added: “If built on this would result in severe and irrevocable damage to the landscape, the countryside, the character of the strong sylvan northern edge to the City and diminish the impact and function of this strategic gap.”

Chichester City Council also objected on the grounds this is greenfield land of significant importance in ‘articulating’ the edge of the city of Chichester and the separation of the city and Lavant. It argued that development here would result in the coalescence of the two settlements and harm the landscape character, appearance and function of this rural area.

It also asked for special consideration to be given to the fact this scheme would eradicate the potential of the northern bypass as an option.

The South Downs National Park Authority, Westhampnett Parish Council, The Chichester Society and the South Downs Society all lodged objections.

Meanwhile the Goodwood Aerodrome raised concerns about the proposed development due to the ‘essential role’ the current gap plays in its safe operation.

A total of 233 letters of objection were received from residents by CDC.