Revised Slinfold development plans approved following appeal decision

Plans to build 24 homes on land north of Slinfold Cricket Club have been approved following an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 3:10 pm

Horsham District Council’s planning committee refused the application in November as members were unhappy with plans to widen a private track off of Lyons Road to 5.5m to allow access to the site.

It was described as ‘unacceptable’ by some and ‘excessively wide’ by others.

But applicant Slinfold Developments Ltd appealed and the decision was overturned on Monday (June 7).

In his report, the inspector said the widened entrance would not be ‘intrusive or harmful’.

He added: “Whilst I accept that the enlarged access would result in change, it would not be significant and would not, in my view, result in a hard urbanising effect.

“On the contrary, the combination of the replacement hedging, retained trees and new tree planting would soften the appearance of the proposed access and enable it to assimilate well with the existing landscaped character of Lyons Road.”

During a meeting of the planning committee on Tuesday (June 8), members approved an updated outline application and accepted that the only thing left to do was move forward.

Speaking about the road safety and highways concerns raised by objectors, Christian Mitchell (Con, Holbrook West) said: “Residents have come to this committee with well-understood and well-founded concerns but the rug really has been taken from under us.

“While I think the highways is understandably a matter of concern, there’s very little that we can do.

“The inspector has given a view on it. We’re not able to overturn that decision. That’s for a court to do if someone disagrees.

“I think really it’s now about going forward on what we’ve got now.”

It will be up to the developer to decide which of the two permissions to adopt on the site – the one given by the council or the one from the inspector.

The updated application reduced the width of the access to 4.8m rather than 5.5m and included a 1.5-storey cricket pavilion, rather than the two-storey one originally suggested.

Whichever is built, the plans have led to some bad feeling in the village between those in favour and those against.

Tricia Youtan (Con, Itchingfield, Slinfold & Warnham) spoke with sadness about ‘angst’, ‘mistrust’, ‘misunderstanding’ and ‘unpleasantness’.

Her fellow ward member Stuart Ritchie added: “I do think it’s a matter of regret that this application has polarised opinion within Slinfold and I hope over time that will ease.”

 To view the application, log on to www.horsham.gov.uk/planning and search for DC/21/0109