New Thakeham home designs criticised

HOR 081011 Aerial photo. Thakeham showing the Abingworth site of the mushroom farm. photo by derek martin ENGSNL00120111010105047
HOR 081011 Aerial photo. Thakeham showing the Abingworth site of the mushroom farm. photo by derek martin ENGSNL00120111010105047

New house designs for the Thakeham mushroom farm site have been condemned as ‘rushed’ and ‘lacking in coherency’.

Thakeham Parish Council has objected to proposed changes to the design of 21 homes to the north east of the site.

House builder Oakford Homes requested the changes. In its application to Horsham District Council, planning agent Vail Williams said they ‘require the design of the dwellings to reflect the trademark of Oakford Homes whilst respecting the local character of the area’.

Commenting on the new designs, Thakeham Parish Council said ‘the submitted drawings have clearly been rushed and remain lacking in coherency and thoroughness’.

Problems listed by the parish council include mismatched window styles; misaligned doors and patio doors; and bathroom windows that are too small.

The parish council has asked for the designs to be redone.

The mushroom farm site has been the subject of a long-running saga involving many planning applications, controversy over the effect of new housing on the village, and a judicial review in the High Court.

A plan to build 146 homes and local facilities at Abingworth Nursery, Storrington Road, was approved by a Horsham District Council (HDC) committee in 2012.

A legal challenge, which reached the High Court in January 2014, claimed that the council had wrongly taken account of the developer’s offer to pay £3.75m to Monaghan Mushrooms to help redevelop its nearby site, securing more than 300 jobs.

It also said that HDC had failed to carry out an environmental impact assessment

Mr Justice Lindblom rejected the challenge, allowing the development to go ahead.

He said: “I cannot accept that the council was unable reasonably to conclude, when it issued its screening opinion for the Site A proposal in March 2010, that there were not likely to be any significant effects on the environment.”

He added that he did not accept that the council had made an error of law when it took into account the £3.75m subsidy.

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