Labelled ‘inappropriate and non essential development’ by council officers, plans for 20 new homes in Rudgwick were resoundingly rejected.
Horsham District Council’s development control north committee unanimously rejected the homes south of Summerfold, off Church Street at a meeting on Tuesday March 5, backing the officer’s recommendation.
Neighbours bemoaned the loss of an apple orchard on the site, where trees had been cut down, and felt that the planned 43 dwellings at Windacres should be completed and integrated into the village before any more large-scale development was approved.
Nearby Rudgwick resident John Newell said: “This is unpalatable to residents and the effect of Windacres should be experienced and understood first.”
Emma Ashfield, who lives in Summerfold, added that as a result of the filling in of the pond and the loss of orchard trees some protected wildlife species might have been damaged or destroyed.
Duncan England (Con, Nuthurst), speaking for the absent local member, suggested that an local housing needs survey could replace the one commissioned in 2008.
While councillors voted unanimously against the proposals Ian Howard (Con, Southwater), cabinet member for living and working communities, warned members that if they agree to spread housing around the villages in their new planning framework, the land south of Summerfold would be exactly the sort of development that they would see as ideal.
Rudgwick Parish Council strongly objected because the site was outside the built up area of the village and 18 letters against the proposal were sent to the council.