New housing estate in South Downs set to be refused

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to build hundreds of homes to the south of Petersfield are set to be refused by a new planning authority.

Developers want to build 213 homes at Causeway Farm, a greenfield site of about 68 acres.

But officers at the South Downs National Park Authority, based in Midhurst, have recommended the plans are refused at a meeting today.

The National Park Authority now makes the final decision on big planning applications within the area.

Causeway Cllr Philip Aiston said: ‘This is the same application as before, which was turned down by the district council and Petersfield Town Council.

‘There is extensive local opposition to this proposal.’

He said a new estate could cause traffic problems.

The land is earmarked as a reserve housing site, but planners say there is no need to build on it as Petersfield does not need the extra houses at the moment.

A planning report by the South Downs National Park Authority states: ‘The development of this reserve housing site is inappropriate, pending a comprehensive review by the district council, jointly with the National Park Authority and local community, of the best options for meeting Petersfield’s housing needs and other community needs.’

The proposed development would include a primary school, community building, allotments, a 30-bed sheltered accommodation complex and riverside walks.

But the planning report adds: ‘The provision of affordable housing and infrastructure contributions including the new

school and public open space...do not outweigh the concerns regarding landscape impact, potential biodiversity impacts, and the prematurity of the proposals.’

If refused, the developers have the opportunity to appeal.