Major Storrington housing development approved

Outline plans for 62 homes in Storrington have been given the nod by Horsham District Council.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 3:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 4:50 pm

The site, on land north of Downsview Avenue, was allocated for development in the Storrington, Sullington & Washington Neighbourhood Plan, allowing for at least 60 homes.

Members of the planning committee were only asked to look at the access to the site – and there were concerns from the public about what was being proposed.

Addressing the meeting, Lois Ford said the access design was ‘dangerous’ and needed to be ‘redesigned with vulnerable and disabled users in mind’, while Teresa Toovey said it would be a ‘critical pinch-point’.

When asked about the concerns, the planning officer told the committee West Sussex Highways did not believe the access was harmful, but agreed the issues raised would be brought to their attention.

He added: “I think in general the principle of the access is OK. So it is acceptable, and it’s not a particularly unusual arrangement.”

Other concerns raised centred around the narrowing of the gap between Storrington and West Chiltington, whether the sewerage system could cope, and the ongoing problems with traffic and air quality.

In 2018, Storrington held the dubious honour of having the worst air quality in South East England and the fourth worst in Britain.

Chairman Brian Donnelly (Con, Pulborough, Coldwaltham & Amberley) asked about the combined impact on air quality of the various small developments in the area.

He said: “Each time this comes up, we end up with a situation where we’re told it doesn’t have any real effect. Is there a point where we say enough is enough?

“Each time it’s ‘this is OK’, then the next one is OK.

“But if you add the numbers up, we’re starting to get quite high numbers, at the same time as we’re trying to do something to reduce the noxious fumes and deal with the Air Quality Management Area.”

Claire Vickers (Con, Southwater North) reminded members that this was only an outline application and the details could be worked out later in the planning process.

Because the site was allocated for development in the Neighbourhood Plan, the council would run a high risk of losing at appeal if it rejected the application, landing itself with a large bill for costs.

The development will be made up of 12 one-bedroom homes, 23 two-bedroom, 20 three-bedroom, and seven four-bedroom.

Twenty-two of the new homes will be classed as affordable and there will be 135 parking spaces.