A councillor said a developer was getting ‘what they deserve’ when a plan to demolish two homes in Southwick and build ten more was refused.
The application, for a mixture of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses on land between Southview Road and Underhill Road, was refused unanimously at a meeting of Adur District Council’s planning committee on Monday (December 9).
Officers gave six reasons for refusal, all based on breaches of the Local Plan, with concerns about flooding, road safety, design, the impact on trees and wildlife, and the effect such a cramped development would have on neighbours, the area and future residents.
There was incredulity from some members at what they were being asked to consider.
Pat Beresford (Con, Churchill) said: “It almost beggars belief that we’ve got to the stage where we have an application with six reasons for refusal that are so based as these are on policy.
“It’s as though they think that somehow our policies don’t matter. I think they’ve now learned to the contrary.”
Mr Beresford questioned how much the applicant had worked with planning officers to improve the plans, adding they would be ‘getting what they deserved’ if it was refused.
Members were told the agent had asked for the plans to be deferred to allow further work to be carried out.
Given that some of that work would not be completed until ‘at least May’, officers in turn asked for the application to be withdrawn – but the applicant refused.
The council received dozens of objections to the application – including a 93-name petition – and the committee was treated to a fascinating history lesson from one resident.
She told the meeting the land had been part of the Gorringe family estate, whose manor house is now Shoreham College. The family planted an orchard on the site but it was not profitable.
They were given permission in the early 19th century to create Southview Road on the understanding the gardens on the west side ‘had to be a minimum of 150ft long because of the continual flooding’.
Stephen Chipp (Con, Southwick Green) read from the report that the site was ‘too small to accommodate six dwellings’.
He said: “This is ten dwellings. This is not a few houses, this is an estate that’s being built behind other people.”
Mr Chipp added: “Our officers gave the opportunity for them to go away, do more homework and prove their point and they choose not to.”