‘Unacceptable’ plans for 45 new homes in Storrington refused

WSCT 161241  Protesters from the Stop Bovis Ruining Storrington Action Group at the western edge of Storrington pictured in late 2014. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141216-165204001
WSCT 161241 Protesters from the Stop Bovis Ruining Storrington Action Group at the western edge of Storrington pictured in late 2014. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141216-165204001
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  • Scheme off Bax Close in Storrington refused by council planners
  • Residents argued it would ‘totally change the character of the area’
  • Air pollution problems in Storrington and concerns over medical provision raised by councillors

‘Unacceptable’ plans for 45 new homes just outside of Storrington were refused by the council on Tuesday.

Bovis Homes’ bid for the properties on land next to Bax Close was turned down by Horsham District Council’s Development Control South Committee.

Horsham District Council leader Ray Dawe

Horsham District Council leader Ray Dawe

Officers recommended it be refused due to the site’s location outside the village boundary, its proximity to the South Downs National Park, air quality issues in Storrington, inadequate noise attenuation measures from traffic on Amberley Road, the urbanised nature of the scheme and its failure to provide a transition into a rural area, poor design, and concerns over access to the site.

Bob Stoker, a Bax Close resident objecting to the application, said: “It will totally change the character of the neighbourhood and cause unacceptable and irreversible harm to the occupants and owners of Bax Close and New Town Road and Downlands.”

The agent for the scheme said the site had been included in the neighbourhood plan process and argued it was in a sustainable location with planning inspectors giving substantial weight to it in appeals.

But Anna Worthington-Leese, chairman of Storrington Parish Council, said that while the site had been originally assessed as part of their neighourhood plan process for 40 homes, this had been revised down to 25.

She described the application as premature and completely unsuitable, and told councillors there was no established local need for any five or six-bedroom houses, several of which were being proposed by Bovis.

Diana Van Der Klugt (Con, Chantry) raised the fact that the site was outside the built up area boundary of Storrington and on the edge of the national park as well as the village’s air quality issues.

Ray Dawe (Con, Chantry), leader at HDC, said they refused a similar application several years before off Washington Road citing the potential urbanising effect of any development, and he felt the inspector’s decision to overrule them was a ‘great pity’.

On the application itself Mr Dawe added: “It just seems to me there is virtually nothing I can find here that would support in any way shape or form the development.”

As a county councillor for the area Philip Circus (Con, Chanctonbury) said the majority of the traffic complaints he received related to Amberley Road and Pulborough Road, both of which would see an increase in vehicle movements if the development was approved.

He also raised concerns over both air quality issues and medical provision in the village.

Mill Stream Medical Centre closed in May last year, while Storrington has been designated as a low emission zone in a move to tackle the air quality problem by HDC.

Brian Donnelly (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham) added: “The district council is more than well aware with the closure of the doctors’ surgery and the council has moved ahead for a new super duper surgery in Storrington which is good news for residents.”

Stop Bovis Ruining Storrington action group was set up earlier this year to oppose plans for two sites, one next to Bax Close, and another off Clay Lane.