Anger over new housing sites in emerging South Downs National Park Local Plan

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New housing sites allocated by the South Downs National Park Authority in its emerging Local Plan have angered villagers.

And yesterday (Thursday, March 9) parish councillors from South Harting and Stedham faced members of the park’s planning committee to raise objections.

The committee was discussing amendments, following public consultation, to their ‘Preferred Options’ document which has earmarked housing in towns and villages across the national park.

At South Harting villagers were horrified to find a completely new site had been included for five to six houses on land north of the Forge in addition to the Loppers Ash site where six to eight homes have already been proposed.

Vice chairman of South Harting Parish Council Sheridan Bowman said: “The development requirements are not achievable on a site with a frontage or only 40 metres and a depth of 25.” It would create an ‘urban development’ she said, adding that with no parking in the site “any views of the Conservation Area will be marred by numerous cars parked along the frontage.”

Chairman of the parish council Andrew Shaxson said South Harting supported the principle of more houses but had strong concerns about the number proposed, their layout and impact.

He said since part of the Loppers Ash side had been earmarked as local green space he believed housing was ‘undeliverable’ and asked that both proposals for South Harting be re-assessed.

Chairman of Stedham and Iping Parish Council’s planning committee John Wheelhouse said the new proposal of between 16 and 20 homes at Stedham Sawmill would create a development ‘isolated from the rest of the village’. He asked members to defer a decision so that smaller sites in the village could be identified.

But members endorsed the housing allocations for inclusion in their pre-submission Local Plan document.

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