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