Fernhurst braces for new Comer Homes plan

The Fernhurst site
The Fernhurst site
  • Outline proposals for site are unveiled to the public
  • Proposal for 250 homes
  • Plan also includes shops
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OUTLINE proposals for the development of the former Syngenta site outside Fernhurst were unveiled in portable buildings in the car park of the 70-acre site now renamed Forest Park.

There was a steady stream of members of the public to the consultation event organised by developers Comer Homes.

The South Downs National Park Authority has earmarked the site, which has been vacant for many years, for a possible 200 homes in its strategic housing land availability assessment (SHLAA)

A dozen boards demonstrated views of the site and its buildings as they are at present alongside an outline drawing of the proposal for 250 homes, envisaged as a mixture of two-to-four-bedroom houses and one-to-three-bedroom flats principally in three and four-storey buildings.

The outline proposals also include shops, a square and nine houses for a work/live combination.

The final allocation for each type of home has yet to be decided, as are the materials to be used, but samples and colours of both brickwork and woodboards that would be included were on display at the public exhibition.

To the north of the site the houses would be grouped round ‘farmstead’ courtyards, and others would face or back on to a small stream presently running in a culvert. Comer Homes said the stream would be brought above ground to flow across the site.

The pagoda building where Aspinalls of London currently has its headquarters and showroom, and the Longfield site, home to John Nicholson’s Auctioneers and other companies, will be retained, said the developer.

Despite the massive clearance of the previous ICI planting, plans include a certain number of trees, and developers hope to maintain trees around the edge of the site, although much of that screening is currently owned by the Cowdray estate or Sussex Wildlife Trust.

The quantity of parking has been planned to Chichester district standards and would 
be allocated to each unit, be the space underground, garaged or in the open.

A community centre is to be included on the site to complement facilities in the centre of Fernhurst as the developers said they wanted to ‘integrate’ the new estate with the rest of Fernhurst.

Many of those who attended the exhibition agreed the design was a great improvement on earlier proposals.

The main concern expressed was the effect the large number of people living in the new homes would have on facilities in the area such as doctors’ surgeries, schools, parking at Haslemere station, and the already-busy roads in the immediate area.

Feedback forms were available for members of the public to express their views.

The South Downs National Park Authority has earmarked the site, which has been vacant for many years, for a possible 200 homes in its strategic housing land availability assessment (SHLAA).

Previous plans put forward almost a decade ago by Comer Homes have included 348 flats in the main offices as well as a 260-bed hotel and a residential care home.