Elderly homes and surgery plan at Wisborough Green set for a rough ride

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Ambitious plans for a major development including a new village doctor’s surgery, community facilities and homes for elderly people at Wisborough Green are likely to get the thumbs down from villagers.

The plans for Stable Field, are due to go before the parish council tonight (Tuesday, September 20), but they fly in the face of the Neighbourhood Plan agreed by villagers after extensive consultation and set in stone on July 19 by Chichester District Council.

The Neighbourhood Plan team examined more than 30 potential housing sites, including the Stable Field site, before proposing a final four which were endorsed through public consultation with Wisborough Green residents. Stable Field was one of more than two dozen which were rejected.

But developers are now seeking outline planning permission for a ‘mixed use community focused development’ at Stable Field on Kirdford Road - a greenfield site.

The new application has the sweetener of offering a new doctor’s surgery in Wisborough Green. Villagers currently use surgeries in Loxwood, Billingshurst and Petworth.

In addition there are a mix of housing types in 30 ‘extra-care’ units including 30 per cent affordable accommodation, as well as community facilities.

In their design and access statements planning consultants for the developers said homes for elderly people were desperately needed especially in the Chichester district where: “the number of over 65s is higher than the national average and is expected to grow even further. Chichester District Council’s Housing Strategy states that 24.4 per cent of the population is over 65 compared to 16.4 per cent nationally.

“Furthermore, in the county as a whole, West Sussex County Council expect this figure to grow 0.8 per cent faster than the English average over the coming decade.”

Wisborough Green’s Neighbourhood Plan accepts housing development, but states a strong wish to see it on small sites distributed around the village, with a preference not to develop on greenfields.

The village was required to take some 60 houses and the plan has chosen four preferred sites providing 68 new homes.

The sites are on land south off Meadowbank (25 homes), Greenways Nursery (10 residential caravans), Clark’s Yard (11 homes and Winterfold, Durbans Road (22 homes).

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