Graffham residents prompt Chichester District Council planning investigation

Graffham residents protest outside Chichester District Council to stop the development on land at the Homes of Rest
Graffham residents protest outside Chichester District Council to stop the development on land at the Homes of Rest
  • Anger over new homes on land at the Homes of Rest in Graffham
  • Application from Reside Developments
  • Councillors voted to permit development

RESIDENTS have prompted an investigation into a planning committee meeting after being ‘disgusted’ that it permitted a contentious plan and let officers make their own changes.

About 20 members of the public waited for several hours to hear Chichester District Council’s planning committee discuss Reside Developments’ application.

We are disgusted. Apart from being a complete shambles, it would appear to us the whole procedure was railroaded through.

The firm wanted to demolish four cottages surrounding the Homes of Rest, in Graffham, to replace them with five houses.

During the discussion, councillors voiced concern about ‘over-development’ and the ‘bizarre’ placing of plot number one.

They heard residents objected for reasons including dangerous access, lack of parking and cramped housing.

Cllr John Elliott made a motion to refuse the application due to plot one causing three issues which he listed.

Chairman Andrew Smith asked councillors to vote on each of the three specified issues.

They voted they could refuse due to plot one having ‘an adverse impact on the character of the area’.

Cllr Smith suggested they permit the application allowing the planning officers to change the scale and position of the troublesome plot.

Councillors voted to permit the development, leaving the officers to make the specified changes.

After the meeting, John Uphill, from Graffham, said he was ‘horrified’.

“We are disgusted. Apart from being a complete shambles, it would appear to us the whole procedure was railroaded through.

“There was the motion to refuse the application and suddenly, by reasons of the chairman and his planning officers, it became a decision about changing the position of buildings.”

Residents complained after the meeting and the chief executive is now investigating.