Unpopular plans for 100 homes between Earnley and Bracklesham turned down

Unpopular plans to build 100 homes in the gap between Earnley and Bracklesham have been refused.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 10:34 am

Seaward Properties wants to develop a greenfield south of Clappers Lane and lodged an outline planning application to Chichester District Council late last year.

Residents argued the scheme would lead to the coalescence between Earnley and Bracklesham and ‘will result in sprawling suburbia with architecture not in keeping with Earnley’s adjacent conservation area’.

They also raised concerns about a lack of facilities and services, declining employment opportunities, congested roads, flooding, the effect on the character of the area as well as the impact on wildlife and nature.

Site off Clappers Lane where developers wanted to build 100 new homes

But CDC officers have now decided to refuse the application.

Earnley Parish Council objected to the plans raising detailed concerns about flooding, traffic, impact on the nearby conservation areas and heritage assets and the coalescence of the two settlements.

East Wittering and Bracklesham Parish Council also opposed the application raising similar points as well as the lack of wastewater capacity and impact on ecology and wildlife.

Both the RSPB and Natural England requested more information.

Meanwhile a total of 357 objections were received from residents.

Although the council is without an up to date local plan, it released an interim position statement for housing development last year and officers concluded the current application did not meet all the relevant criteria.

They felt that the undeveloped gap between Bracklesham and Earnley is considered to be of importance not because of any intrinsic landscape quality, but more in terms of its necessary function as a foil between settlements.

It was noted that Bracklesham is characterised by a higher density concentration of post-war and modern housing estates ‘in stark contrast’ to the small hamlet of Earnley, where very little modern development has taken place within its boundaries since the late 19th century.

Officers added: “The countryside between the two settlements would be lost. The perception would be of one settlement running on into the next without any clear and meaningful break.”

Concerns were also raised about a lack of information on the proposed development’s impact on nearby protected sites such as the Medmerry RSPB Reserve.

The council also did not have evidence to demonstrate the existing foul sewer network in this part of Bracklesham/Earnley is capable of meeting the current demands placed on it let alone the extra strain that would be created from another major housing development along Clappers Lane.