Villagers’ joy as new Westbourne estate plan refused

PROTEST Jesse Grant made a sign to highlight his objections to development
PROTEST Jesse Grant made a sign to highlight his objections to development
Fly-tipping in Harold Road. Picture: Andrew Pearce

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CAMPAIGNERS are claiming victory after plans for a countryside housing development were turned down.

Southcott Homes wanted to build 22 houses in a field off Long Copse Lane, Westbourne, close to the new 250 home Hampshire Farm estate.

Jesse Grant, whose home backs on to the field, put up a tongue-in-cheek signpost telling people all the reasons why Westbourne, and particularly that field, could not take any more development.

An emergency meeting of villagers was called and 200 turned up to raise objections to the proposals.

And planners at Chichester District Council have turned the developers down.

Mr Grant, 69, said: ‘I’m delighted.

‘I know we have got to build houses somewhere but it’s totally the wrong place.

‘Firstly, the roads around the area flood.

‘The field itself doesn’t because it’s 1.5m above everything else.

‘We’ve got 250 homes going up at Hampshire Farm, the schools are full and the doctors are just about jammed full.

‘I’m delighted that the planners have seen sense.

‘We are a small community but we got together to fight it and I would say people power won.’

In the council’s detailed decision report, made under delegated powers, the developer was told the rejection was down to the fact homes would encroach too far into the rural area which would be ‘harmful’ to the character of the village.

They also said the plans did not provide an adequate mix of market and affordable homes.

There were too many large homes available on the open market and too few available for affordable housing.

And finally the report stated there were not ‘adequate turning facilities within the site to prevent vehicles reversing to or from the site onto the public highway, a manoeuvre that would constitute interference to, or the obstruction of free flow and safety of traffic along North Street’.

Agent Neame Sutton did not return calls from The News.