Retirement apartments scheme in Storrington branded ‘monstrous’

JPCT 270813 Planning application - Ryecroft Lane, Storrington. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 270813 Planning application - Ryecroft Lane, Storrington. Photo by Derek Martin

A ‘monstrous’ and ‘greedy’ scheme for 42 retirement apartments in the heart of Storrington was rejected by planners last week.

McCarthy and Stone was hoping to build the two and three-storey building behind Mill Stream Medical Centre off Ryecroft Lane on a former allotment site.

One resident, who lives in Riverside on the other side of the River Stor, said she was ‘delighted’ at Horsham District Council’s Development Control South Committee’s decision.

Kate Rowbottom (Con, Billingshurst) said: “I do not see why it has to be three storeys.

“I think it’s a monstrosity of a building.”

Both Brian O’Connell (Con, Henfield) and Jonathan Chowen (Con, Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead) thought the scheme represented overdevelopment of the site.

Mr O’Connell said: “That is the key issue, the size and the scale of the building against the original surroundings is totally out of keeping.”

Brian Donnelly (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham) added: “This is developer’s greed.

“They have slapped as much as they can in as little space as possible.”

However the agent for the scheme said that McCarthy and Stone had made an effort to consult in the locality, and thought the more units that could be achieved the more the community would benefit.

But Roger Paterson (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham) said of the plan: “In this case there seems to be a whole series of reasons as to why this is not acceptable starting with the contributions being one-tenth of what we asked for.”

While the officer’s report had suggested that a commuted sum of between £500,000 and £700,000 would be adequate towards affordable homes, McCarthy and Stone was offering around £52,000.

There was some confusion at the start of the debate as Storrington and Sullington Parish Council had changed their stance from strong objection to no objection.

Jim Sanson (Con, Chantry) suggested deferring the application to allow more time to sort out some of the outstanding issues, supported by chairman of the committee David Jenkins (Con, Chanctonbury), but most councillors disagreed.

Mr Chowen also pondered whether there was any need for more retirement properties in the area. He said: “Do we have an oversupply? We have already agreed a development for McCarthy and Stone in Storrington.”