Councillor asks colleagues if they are ‘kidding’ in approving Southwater homes

News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174836001
News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174836001

A councillor asked his colleague if they were ‘kidding’ by agreeing to three homes behind Southwater’s Londis.

The plot off Andrew’s Lane already had planning permission for a pair of semi-detached houses, but Horsham District Council’s Development Control North approved the fresh application on Tuesday August 2.

While several objections were received from residents on the grounds of overdevelopment, loss of privacy, and parking Southwater Parish Council supported the scheme.

Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater) argued that the site was within Southwater’s built up area boundary and was close to all the village amenities.

She said: “We need small houses like this in the village therefore I’m proposing this application be approved.”

John Chidlow (Con, Southwater) added: “This application is not overdevelopment in the context of the existing Southwater housing densities.”

But Brian O’Connell (Con, Henfield) disagreed, adding: “This is total overdevelopment of that site against the existing planning permission that’s in place.”

Officers had recommended refusal due to the scale of the houses, their siting, design and relationship with surrounding properties, which they argued ‘would result in a cramped form of development which would appear an incongruous and unduly dominant addition to the site and wider surroundings’.

When the majority of the committee raised their hands in support of the application, one councillor said: “Are you kidding?”

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