Appeal against 160 Henfield homes brings hope
The district council has decided to take legal action against the planning inspectorate which ruled in favour of a developer which plans to build 160 homes in Henfield.
In light of the news, village action group, Hands Off Henfield, sent out a newsletter to its members, stating: “There is still a chance of the appeal decision being overturned.”
A representative at Horsham District Council (HDC) told the County Times: “HDC’s challenge is based upon the failure of the inspector to act with procedural fairness regarding the impact of the proposed development on outward views from the appeal site.”
HDC turned down Barratt Homes’ bid for the houses off West End Lane in late August 2013, but an appeal was launched by the developer the following month.
In June this year, a shock decision by the planning inspector saw 160 Henfield homes approved on appeal (pictured above).
The council claims that the planning inspectorate failed to consider how changes to the design and layout would affect the ‘impact upon the outward views from the site to the countryside’ and the ‘impact upon the character and quality of the area’.
The council representative continued: “The inspector has drawn his own conclusion of the implications of an amended layout to allow for outward views, but he did not have any specific evidence for this and did not give either HDC or the appellant an opportunity to comment upon his assessment of the impact.”
During the appeal, it was argued that St Peter’s C Of E Primary School in Henfield was at capacity.
At the time, Carol Eastwood, vice-chairman of Hands off Henfield, said that the school was already oversubscribed for September 2014.
Since the ruling, seven Henfield parents have appealed to the Local Education Authority after their children were unable to secure a placement at the school, according to head teacher Nick Phillips.
However, the planning inspectorate report states that the Education Authority assesses capacity according to ‘groups of schools rather than individual schools.’
Therefore, parents must find alternative placements outside of the village in these circumstances.
The County Times asked HDC if there will be any financial implications as a result of the appeal launch, the representative said: “In terms of financial implications, the successful party will recover its costs of the case.”
In 2012, 102 homes east of Manor Close in Henfield was similarly granted on appeal to the dismay of residents.
A date of the appeal is yet to be set.
To learn more about the process of an appeal, visit http://bit.ly/1uDjUm6