Westbourne land to be sold to community trust for affordable homes

Westbourne'''Picture by Louise Adams C131514-1 Chi Westbourne
Westbourne'''Picture by Louise Adams C131514-1 Chi Westbourne

Chichester District Council is to consider selling land in Westbourne to a community trust.

Land to the rear of Mill Road is expected to be declared ‘surplus to requirements’ by the council, and the Westbourne Community Trust (WCT) wants to buy it to build 10 affordable homes.

The trust, which is a non-profit charitable group, is also interested in land in nearby Covington Road, though it would not be used for housing.

A report due to be considered at a meeting of the cabinet next week said the trust had asked about the Scout premises in Mill Road, though this was not yet being considered.

The trust was set up by local people and is run by volunteers with the aim of building homes and offering them to people from the village at lower than usual rents.

The report said that, while the Mill Road land had not been earmarked for housing in the Westbourne Neighbourhood Plan, an exception could be made for affordable housing.

This could be good news for the 19 Westbourne families on the district council’s housing register – almost half of which are classed as ‘priority need’.

Once they have confirmed the land is no longer needed by the council, cabinet members will be asked to give the nod to selling the Mill Road land to the trust at a market value ‘which reflects the limited value’ of the site.

The Covington Road land would be transferred to the trust for a ‘nominal’ payment.

The cabinet will meet at East Pallant House, Chichester, at 9.30am on Tuesday January 8. Members of the public are welcome to attend.