Melton Drive saga continues

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The controversial Melton Drive application saga continued as councillors added another reason to back their rejection of the Storrington development.

Horsham district councillors unanimously agreed to add an additional reason for refusing the 102-home development on land north of South Wood, Melton Drive.

A dozen residents attended the planning meeting at Park North, Horsham on Tuesday (November 19) to hear the owner of grade II listed West Wantley Farm, Tom Fleming, claim that the proposal would destroy generations of hard work which had gone into protecting the property over the last 500 years.

“This is insulting the intellect of all those involved,” said Mr Fleming.

“It’s an important part of the rich history locally and in West Sussex.”

The planning officer claimed that the proposed development’s close proximity, scale and elevated height would cause ‘unacceptable harm to the heritage asset’.

This follows the application’s refusal in July this year. Wates Developments appealed the decision in August, and is now subject to a public inquiry on January 7.

Philip Circus (Con: Chanctonbury) said he was pleased that the council had another reason to back this important decision.

“This is quite crucial to see whether local decision making decidedly means anything at all and if we have a useful purpose when making these decisions. We wait from the inspector with considerable interest.”

After the meeting, member of Stop Storrington Sprawl Howard Brunt said: “Unfortunately this is a question of how the planning inspector treats this. He could overrule it all.”

The application was originally refused for several reasons including its impact on the landscape and increase in air traffic pollution.