VIDEO: Melton Drive application refused by councillors

There was a collective sigh of relief followed by applause as Horsham District Council voted unanimously to refuse planning permission at Melton Drive this week.

The planning officer’s recommendation to refuse the 102 home application was carried at the development control meeting on Tuesday, July 16.

JPCT 160713 S13290247x Horsham district Council. Development protest group -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 160713 S13290247x Horsham district Council. Development protest group -photo by Steve Cobb

Roger Arthur (UKIP: Chanctonbury) said it was time to ‘call a halt’ to further major development in Storrington.

He Said: “The potential harm arising from the proposed development clearly outweighs the benefits and the proposal is clearly unsustainable, by any interpretation.”

Philip Circus (Con: Chanctonbury) described the application as ‘fundamentally unsound’.

He said: “If we can’t maintain the integrity of our community and the distance between Storrington and West Chiltington then I don’t know what we’re doing here.”

Concerned Storrington residents gathered outside Park North in Horsham to attend the hearing and have their say.

One objector and neighbour to the proposed development, John Taylor, told the councillors the development would ‘vandalise’ the countryside.

He said: “The community is angry, frustrated, impotent and feels powerless.

“Like rabbits in the headlights we can see the machinery of planning coming to blight Storrington’s green fields and extend its sprawl.”

Storrington Parish Council vice chairman, Richard Jarman also objected to the application.

He said: “It does not integrate with existing adjacent neighbourhoods. It would be out of keeping with its surroundings and detrimental to existing properties, completely changing the nature of the area.”

Wates Developments’ Assistant Land and Planning Manager, Francesca Damiani, said the proposed site is sustainable and that extensive assessments and comprehensive engagements were carried out with the community.

The planning officer recommended refusal on the grounds that the large scale of the build would impact on the landscape; it has not proven to provide a safe and adequate highway solution; and it has not demonstrated that it would not exacerbate existing air quality problems.

After the council’s unanimous vote to carry the officer’s recommendation, John Taylor said he was ‘delighted’ and ‘pleased’ with the outcome.

“We realise it’s probably another step up the longer road.”