Council to appeal decision to overturn village development

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Horsham District Council is to appeal a decision to overturn plans for eight new homes in West Chiltington.

An application was submitted to build six detached and two semi-detached houses with related accesses, garaging, car parking and provision of a new footpath adjacent to Threals Lane.

It was refused by councillors in January last year but was overturned by the planning inspector at an appeal in November.

The council has decided to appeal the inspector’s decision on the grounds that ‘it did not take proper account of either the Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plan’.

A council spokesman said: “The council believes that the decision is contrary to the development strategy and policies of the council’s up-to-date Local Plan, the Horsham District Planning Framework.

“The council can show that it has a five year housing land supply and this site was not allocated for development in either the Local Plan or the Thakeham Neighbourhood Plan and did not comply with the local plan’s countryside protection policy, which is why it was refused.”

Councillor Claire Vickers, cabinet member for planning and development, added: “I am shocked and disappointed by the inspector’s decision letter on land at Threals Lane.

“Another recent appeal decision at Old Clayton Kennels, Storrington Road, Washington was turned down by an inspector at appeal because it wasn’t included in the Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plan and wasn’t in accordance with the Local Plan policies. This has been the case in several other similar appeal decisions, which makes this decision even more unusual.

“We have worked hard to get our Local Plan in place, as have the local community in preparing their Neighbourhood Plans and this decision totally disregards these plans.

“The Government encourages us to plan positively for our area and to shape where development goes in preparing Local and Neighbourhood Plans, which we have done in consultation with our communities. Decisions such as this one go against this principle of being ‘plan-led’ and cannot be right.

“We have been left with no choice but to defend our plans by challenging this rogue decision”

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