LETTER: Neighbourhood plans test case

Your letters
Your letters

Wates’ application to build on the field adjoining Melton Drive in Storrington was turned down by both the parish and district councils in 2013 and then thrown out on appeal by the Planning Inspector in 2014.

Wates is now back with a new scheme which was presented at public meetings on Friday 13th March 2015.

This contradicts the emerging Neighbourhood Plan in which Storrington and Washington residents have expressed their wishes for future housing development by nominating nine sites which will be looked at favourably for suitable planning applications.

The Melton Drive site is not one of the nominated sites.

When challenged as to why the wishes of the community should be ridden over roughshod in this way, the developer’s response was that the Local and Neighbourhood Plans were in a fluid state and were not yet finalised.

In other words if they are quick enough, and they intend to be quick, the application may go through before the community has the full, Neighbourhood Plan protection against this type of inappropriate, speculative development.

This is a test case to show whether the concept of Neighbourhood Planning will be strong enough to give the protection that Localism has dismally failed to ensure for so many communities?

JOHN TAYLOR

Stop Storrington Sprawl, Melton Drive, Storrington