Scheme for 36 homes in Billingshurst rejected for being too ‘cramped’

The Whitehouse Farm site is to the west of Chichester

The Whitehouse Farm site is to the west of Chichester

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Plans for 36 new homes and a neighbourhood store in Billingshurst were thrown out by the council last week.

Horsham District Council’s Development Control South Committee refused the outline application for a strip of land between Groomsland Drive and Gilmans Industrial Estate off Natts Lane on Tuesday February 17 due to concerns over flooding, the location of the site, and land contamination.

Housing on this site would be seriously cramped

Gordon Lindsay, Horsham district councillor

While the site is currently empty a number of officers within the council raised objections to plans, on grounds such as the loss of trees with Tree Protection Orders, the absence of a surface water drainage strategy, the proximity of residential units to industrial units next door, and the potential loss of footfall to the village centre.

Kate Rowbottom (Con, Billingshurst and Shipley) described the site as ‘highly unsuitable for development for a number of reasons’ and added: “All in all this area has very serious flooding problems and this development would only make things considerably worse.”

Gordon Lindsay (Con, Billingshurst and Shipley) added: “In essence, housing on this site would be seriously cramped and there’s a huge risk of flooding in this area and development in this area would add to that risk.”

However the applicant described how there was no objection to the principle of residential development on the brownfield site.

A2 Dominion are currently building 150 homes to the south of the site as part of their ‘Cereston’ development.