Storrington residents set to fight development plan again

JPCT 200114 Melton Drive, Storrington - residents protest over plans for development next to Melton Drive. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320140120140012
JPCT 200114 Melton Drive, Storrington - residents protest over plans for development next to Melton Drive. Photo by Derek Martin ENGPPP00320140120140012

Residents who fought a two year battle to oppose a plan for 102 homes in their village are ‘appalled’ to find the same developer has submitted a new application in the same location.

A spokesman for action group Stop Storrington Sprawl said Wates Development had put them through ‘two stressful years’ after it submitted a plan to build on a field north of Melton Drive in Storrington.

This site is not designated in the emerging neighbourhood plan, it is not deemed necessary by Horsham District Council who were unanimously against the first plan, and the inspectorate described it as unsustainable.

Stop Storrington Sprawl spokesma

He said: “It is clear that Wates are being nothing less than opportunistic.

“This site is not designated in the emerging neighbourhood plan, it is not deemed necessary by Horsham District Council who were unanimously against the first plan, and the inspectorate described it as unsustainable.”

Wates Development first submitted a plan to build 102 homes in 2012. This was met by great opposition from the community and was rejected by Horsham District Council.

In May 2014, the developer took the council’s decision to appeal, but the planning inspectorate dismissed it.

David MaCann, a new resident to Melton Drive, asked if a defeated developer could just keep coming back.

He said: “It is appalling to us as newcomers to Melton Drive that those within the community who fought for two years on the previous application should have to go through this all over again.

“It was emotionally draining for so many people and it seems wholly inappropriate that Wates can be allowed to try again within barely nine months of the previous outcome.”

A spokesman for Wates Development said it had listened to the planning inspectorate and the community to help shape a more suitable plan for the area.

He said: “The inspector’s decision said ‘the development would provide much needed housing’... There were however, concerns from the inspector over the density and design of that scheme.

“‘Having listened to those comments and others from the broader stakeholder community, we have shaped a new plan, reducing the density to 70 from 102 homes and further using the existing character of the town to inform the design of our new proposal.”

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