Bad News on the Northern Gap

We were shocked to discover today that the Inspector who conducted the Planning Inquiry into Persimmon’s Appeal on the Chatsmore Farm site has upheld that appeal and so, unless something extraordinary happens, the 475-house estate will be built.

It is a bitter blow to all of us – Ed Miller

Persimmon tries again

Persimmon’s Persistence

We learned this morning that Persimmon have lodged an appeal against Worthing Borough Council’s refusal of their 475-home estate on the North Goring Gap. This was quite a surprise because they told the planning officers that they would not appeal but try to get the land designated for housing  in the Planning Inspector’s review of the new Local Plan.
We do not yet know the grounds for their appeal but presumably it is the same argument that they used in their planning application – that Worthing was a long way short of the Government’s housing targets and that the benefit of getting nearer to that target outweighed all the objections about landscape, wildlife, gaps between settlements, traffic paralysis and all the other good reasons why it was refused. We, and the other local organisations, may need to make further statements to the Inspector but he or she will read all the case papers and see our arguments that were endorsed by over 1250 residents, Ferring Parish Council and all the residents’  and amenity groups in Goring and Worthing, were backed by the Worthing planning officers and unanimously  accepted by Worthing’s Planning Committee. I think the appeal has very little chance of success. Sir Peter Bottomley, Our Member of Parliament  (who is a member of our Group) has issued this statement:
The Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick has to stand firm on government policy that rejects inappropriate developments. 
He knows Worthing is squeezed between the sea and the National Park.
He knows the major development at West Durrington.
He knows the intentions for significant new housing at Teville Gate, on Union Place and on the gas works site.
Let us call for everyone in Arun and in Worthing to call on Persimmon to be less grasping, to support Worthing Borough Council in arguing for the developer’s appeal to fail and to maintain the rare fields between the District and Borough’

We know we can count on his support, and that of all our members.

– Ed Miller 4 September 

Highdown Vineyard – the latest

The owners of Highdown Vineyard on Littlehampton Road say on their web site, ‘the Vineyard has not been sold despite some newspaper headlines suggesting otherwise. We have allowed a property company to prepare a planning application for housing but this is at a very, very early stage’.and that’ all bookings ‘will go ahead without any disruption until end of the summer 2022’.

However, any such application would be contrary to the Local Plan and Arun District Council’s  ‘Director of Place’ has told the developer that the Planning Officers would not support any application for residential development on the Vineyard site. This should be the end of the matter – but we will keep our eyes open.

Covid and Lockdown

We seem to be moving out of lockdown into ‘alertness’, which means more freedom to go out – keeping the 2 metres ‘social distance’, or wearing masks where we cannot do that, and that more shops will be opening soon, beginning with Garden Centres. I know that many Conservation Group members have been helping their friends and neighbours with shopping and other essentials, and it may be necessary to keep this up for a few more weeks at least. As before, if you know of anyone who needs help but not getting it please let me know –