DCSIMG

Second appeal in two years for village homes

JPCT 17-07-12 S12280252X protesters outside Park Hall North, protesting against Billingshurst application -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 17-07-12 S12280252X protesters outside Park Hall North, protesting against Billingshurst application -photo by Steve Cobb

A fiercely-contested piece of land in Billingshurst is subject to its second planning appeal in two years as a developer looks to build 46 new homes.

Bellway Homes is appealing Horsham District Council’s decision to reject an application for the homes east of Daux Avenue made in March 2012, a year after it rejected a similar application for 55 homes, which was rejected and then dismissed at a subsequent appeal.

A public inquiry held by the central Government planning inspector will now decide whether the 46 homes will go ahead.

David Mowling, chairman of Save Billingshurst Action Group (SBAG), called development a continual erosion of village life in the Horsham district.

“There has to be a limit to it. Unless it’s fundamentally changed what right does the developer feel it has to appeal it again? The only people who want it is the developer. Even Horsham District Council does not want it,” he said.

“It is demoralising for support groups who keep fighting these every day, every month, and they are being worn down.”

SBAG launched a campaign to have the land re-designated as a village green in December 2009 to West Sussex County Council’s rights of way officer.

In May a group spokesperson said: “It’s a valuable amenity to the local residents and makes a significant contribution to the personal wellbeing of many.”

This July the village also fought off an application for 550 homes east of the village, although it is expected to be named as one of the strategic sites in HDC’s new preferred housing strategy early next year.

SBAG are holding a public meeting on Thursday November 22 at 8pm at the Community and Conference Centre in Roman Way.

Mr Mowling added: “Villagers have to stand up and be counted.”

 

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