Billingshurst development emphatically rejected by council

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Villagers are jubilant as plans for 550 homes east of Billingshurst were rejected today (Tuesday July 17).

Planning officers had recommended that members of Horsham District Council’s Development Management South Committee grant planning permission for the scheme east of the village.

But plans for the site, north and south of the A272, were rejected on the grounds of sustainability, landscaping and prematurity.

David Mowling, chairman of Save our Sussex Alliance, said: “This is a clear victory for common sense and for all the villages in West Sussex.”

Nearly 100 protesters who turned up to the meeting, 50 in the main council chambers and more than 40 in The Capitol, broke out into rapturous applause as members threw out plans.

Kate Rowbottom, Adam Breacher and Gordon Lindsay (Con, Billingshurst and Shipley) led an impassioned defence against the application, rejecting the idea that the houses should be approved to make up for a shortfall in Horsham district’s five-year land supply.

Mrs Rowbottom said she was physically hurt by plans to concrete over greenfields and suitable farming land, while Brian Donnelly (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham), said the time was right to stop kowtowing to developers.

Three members abstained from the final vote.

For more see Thursday’s West Sussex County Times.